A seemingly rudderless and anchorless society has cast us all adrift on a sea of anxiety. And man, being in honor, did not understand; he is compared to the mindless cattle, and is become like unto them (Ps. 48:12). This condition makes us ripe to fall for the old adage, “any port in a storm,” and that is just what we do. By the thousands, the millions, we give ourselves to whatever seems to offer some sense of identity or direction, some meaning to life, be that what it may: a life of sensual indulgence, politically correct social activism or the superficial “spirituality” of the self-help league. Even self-immolation upon the altar of the false god of nihilism is to be preferred to the frightening emptiness and naked despair which threatens to overwhelm our fragile hold upon reality.
Why do ye spend money for that which is not bread and labor for that which satisfieth not? (Is. 55:2). These words of the Prophet Isaiah may echo in our ears, yet one who is starving will eat whatever food is offered, even if it be rotten or mixed with poison. This is all the more true of the spiritually starving generation being raised now amidst the enthralling global culture of apostasy; a spiritual famine for the Life-giving Word of God has come upon us.
St. Theophan the Recluse, The Spiritual Life and How to be Attuned to It, tr. Alexandra Dockham (Platina, CA: St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood, 1995), 25-6.