Sunset - Larnaca

Sunset - Larnaca

Sunday, 7 September 2014

St Simeon the New Theologian - On Faith

St Simeon describes faith as readiness to die for Christ's sake, in the conviction that this death brings life. It is to regard poverty as richness, insignificance as true fame and glory, and to have nothing in order to make sure that we possess all things. Above all, he says, faith is 'attainment of the invisible treasure of the knowledge of Christ.'

St Simeon highlights that faith in Christ is not merely a neglect of the pleasures of life, but also about remaining patient 'until God's favour looks down upon us.'

'I waited patiently for the Lord; and He inclined unto me, and heard me cry' ( Psalm 40:1 )

So we are asked to imitate David - in placing all our hope in the Lord, and awaiting His great help and mercy. ' I bore my sorrows in hope that the Lord would help me; therefore the Lord, seeing me await His help without wavering, looked down upon me and showed me His mercy.'

Furthermore, he warns us that those who prefer the will of their friends and family, rather than the commandments of God, have no faith in Christ. Faith in the true God and saviour gives birth to healthy fear - the fear of God which will lead to a strict observance of the commandments. This observance teaches and helps us realise our weaknesses, leading to repentance.

To conclude, St Simeon the New Theologian emphasises how faith in Christ means giving our whole lives to Him - and not to this world and its people. This means being patient, and following His holy commandments - humbly, realising our weaknesses and unworthiness before Him.

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