The Fragility of Faith and Redemption: A Philosophical Reflection on Sin and Divinity


Recalling a passage from Levinas, which stated, "To approach the Other in conversation is to welcome his expression, in which at each instant he overflows the idea a thought would carry away from it. It is therefore to receive from the Other beyond the capacity of the I, which would carry away from it. Teaching is not reducible to maieutics; it comes from the exterior and brings me more than I contain," [1] I have proceeded to write the following short text on the approaching Easter season, which we will present along with its translation into English. This decision was motivated by unjust threats and reports I received after sharing the text in Romanian on social media.

In a context where we observe an increase in the sensitivity of Romanian citizens, it is important to note that the present text is not intended to criticize individuals but to analyze a general phenomenon without reference to specific persons. In this essay, we shall delve into the intricacies of the human relationship with divinity, heightened by the tensions and uncertainties prevalent within a fragmented religious community marked by dissension and controversy. We propose an interpersonal dialogue grounded in mutual respect, empathy, and understanding, emphasizing the significance of human and spiritual values within the religious collective.

The transgression of sin weakens the human spirit, estranging it from the divine presence. Through the lens of the "humanoid," who indulges in fleeting pleasures within a religious framework, their confession, while posited as an initial stride towards regeneration, in truth, serves as a regression into a state of moral decay. Hence, the individual engrossed in a perpetual cycle of transgressions may perceive a mirage of advancement. Alas, this ceaseless indulgence fractures their psyche and soul, inverting their core ethos and rationale.

Those enamored with sin harbor an affinity for obscurantism, cloaking their pursuits in secrecy, shielded from scrutiny by veiled lids. Rationalizing their sins as a grim embodiment of free will, they inadvertently succumb to spiritual impotence, invoking the notion of humanity's presumed fallen state. A collective thought process ensues among these individuals, marked by distinct phases. Initially, a relativistic approach is embraced by alluding to the primary progenitors, Adam and Eve. Subsequently, they grasp scriptural verses to evade introspection and deflect censure. Confronted with discerning critique, their defense of wrongdoings takes precedence, denying any semblance of moral rectitude or divine guidance.

As Francis of Assisi eloquently expressed, "Those who neglect penance, abstain from receiving the sacrament of the Eucharist, engage in vice and sin, and succumb to the temptations of the flesh are effectively entrapped by the devil, serving as offspring of darkness and conduits of wicked works. They operate in spiritual darkness, devoid of the illuminating presence of Christ, thereby lacking true wisdom and insight into divine truths. Their corrupted hearts bear the roots of all sin, as proclaimed in the Gospel, leading them astray from God's commands and forfeiting their eternal salvation knowingly. 

Deceived by worldly allurements and misled by the devil, they derive fleeting pleasure in sinful indulgence, yet remain oblivious to the impending reality of mortality and the inevitable judgment awaiting them. Ultimately, those who depart from this world unrepentant and without atonement relinquish all earthly possessions and spiritual merits, falling prey to the soul-devouring clutches of the enemy. The failure to seek redemption and perform acts of contrition heralds a fate of eternal loss and desolation, where neither worldly goods nor acquired knowledge can shield them from the divine reckoning that awaits beyond the confines of life's transient veil." [2]

This proclivity mirrors an abnegation of accountability, underpinned by an ingrained proclivity towards the indulgence of vice. Hedonism thus reigns as the doctrinal ethos of many theologians and clergy of the epoch, as an example. While eschewing avowal as Epicureans, Gnostics, or Nihilists, they remain oblivious to their inherent affiliation with Bacchus and Mars, rather than being disciples of Christ or heralds of enlightenment. 

Their transgressions function akin to energetic vampires, briefly empowering the narcissist while sapping the vital essence of empaths. The humanoids revel in squalor yet aspire to opulence; indolence becomes their ethos as dreams of Parisian sojourns dance in their minds. This perverse penchant for sin is veiled by a distorted illusion of paradise, emblematic of pervasive spiritual and moral immaturity. Devoid of moral discernment, they wallow in a delusion of acquaintance with divinity, misguided by a skewed perception of the divine-human paradigm. Thus, sin is extolled as an emblem of normativity, and at times, even moral virtue itself, thereby relegating morality to a state of bland, innocuous insipidity. 

Nevertheless, as articulated by Duns Scotus: "It could be asserted that the intrinsic merit of virtuous actions serves as an inherent reward in itself, an idea echoed in Augustine's Confessions, emphasizing that every transgression carries its retribution. Sin, therefore, emerges as its punitive consequence, reinforcing the concept of inherent justice ingrained within the fabric of moral conduct.[3] Yet, we shall remember that one positive aspect of human nature is our capacity to receive forgiveness and attain salvation through our relationship with divinity. Through sincerity, responsibility, and earnestly seeking forgiveness, we can find peace and understanding in our connection with the Divine. As such, we can experience transformation and healing through accepting forgiveness and our sincere commitment to living in harmony and compassion. 

In conclusion, "everyone feels the existence of evil and feels horror at it and wants to get free from it. Evil is neither suffering nor sin; it is both at the same time, it is something common to them both. For they are linked together; sin makes us suffer and suffering makes us evil, and this indissoluble complex of suffering and sin's.[4] Contact with purity effects a transformation into evil. Only in this way can there be release from the indissoluble complex of suffering and sin. Through this contact, suffering gradually ceases to be mixed with sin; while sin transforms itself into simple suffering. This supernatural operation is called repentance. It is as though some joy were to shine upon the evil in us.[5]


[1] Levinas, E. (1969). Totality and Infinity: An Essay on Exteriority. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: Duquesne University Press. p.51.

[2] Francis of Assisi. (1999). Early documents. New York: New City Press. p.43.

[3] John Duns Scotus. (1308). Philosophical Writings. Franciscan Institute, St. Bonaventure. p.334.

[4] Weil, S. (1998). Writings selected with an introduction by Eric O Springsted. Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis Books. School of Theology at Claremont, p.75.

[5] Weil, S. (1998). Ibid., p. 77.

Categories:  theologyphilosophyculture

Genre: interdisciplinary essay

Reading Level: Advanced