Apostasy is permitted by God – do not attempt to stop it with your powerless hand. Flee from it yourself, protect yourself from it; that is enough for you to do. Learn to know the spirit of the age, study it, so whenever possible you will be able to avoid its influence…Only God’s special mercy is able to stop this all-destroying moral epidemic, to stop it for a while, because it is necessary that everything foretold by the Scriptures happen.
Judging by the spirit of the times and the intellectual ferment, one must suppose that the structure of the Church, which has been shaking for some time, will fall quickly and horribly. There is no one to stop and oppose it. The measures undertaken to support it are borrowed and hasten its fall, rather than stopping it. There is no one who can be expected to restore Christianity!
The vessels of the Holy Spirit have finally dried up everywhere, even in the monasteries, those treasures of piety and grace…The salt has lost its savor.
In the chief pastors of the Church there remains only a weak, dim, inconsistent and incorrect understanding according to the “letter” which kills the spiritual life in Christian society and destroys Christianity, which is an action, not a letter. It is distressing to see to whom the sheep of Christ have been entrusted, to whom their direction and salvation have been committed. But this has been permitted by God…
God’s merciful patience delays and postpones the decisive disintegration for the small remnant of those being saved, while those who are decaying or have decayed attain the fullness of their corruption.
Those who are being saved must understand this and make use of the time given them for salvation. May the merciful Lord shield the remnant of those who believe in Him! But, this remnant is meager and is becoming more and more so…Let him who is being saved save his soul
By St Ignatius Brianchaninov, (Vol. IV and the Patericon)