Book Notes: Theophan’s Commentary on Psalm 118: verses 135-136

Psalm 118Psalm 118:
A Commentary
by Saint Theophan the Recluse

(1815-1894)
by Saint John of Kronstadt Press, 2014
Goodreads
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VERSE 135:
Make Thy face to shine upon Thy servant,
and teach me Thy statutes.

Make Thy face to shine upon Thy servant =
He “prays concerning God’s loving benevolence towards him”. (p.288)

Grant me ever to behold Thee (Ps 15:8) before me, and never to dare or to offend Thee in any way, to compel Thy benevolence to darken its bright face.
p.288

This is the most salvific state: to look upon the shining face of God with a shining face. This alone could substitute for all the methods of asceticism, though without these it would be difficult, if not impossible, to become established and stand firm.
p.289

But who is pure? Hence the prayer teach me Thy statutes.

Teach me Thy statutes; teach me always to be right before Thee, in acts, words, thoughts, feelings and undertakings, not only in those clearly manifest, but also in the most concealed, known and seen only by Thee.
p. 289

VERSE 136:
Mine eyes have poured forth streams of waters,
because I kept not Thy law.

In v.135, he mentions unconscious shortcomings, here tears (signs of sincere repentance; brought forth by love) for his conscious ones.

Tears of contrition are a spiritual ablution.
p.290

Love, which always sees the face of God, cannot but see how It is offended by this or that offense and, seeing it, can only be afflicted –and being afflicted, cannot but shed tears (cf. Peter in Lk 22:62).
p.290

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