Man the target of God
In the theology of Saint Silouan and Saint Sophrony, man is the target of divine visitations that serve to make him aware of the image of Christ within him. God created man in His ‘image and likeness’. Although this image has become distorted, the purpose of man’s life in the Church is that it should be perfectly restored. Saint Sophrony referred to the image of God in man as man’s ‘hypostasis’ or ‘personhood’. He taught that this image cannot be realised without the witness of a saint or elder, who demonstrates likeness unto Christ and bears His word. For this reason, he often explained the principle of personhood through reference to the life and writings of Saint Silouan.