The Sight of God in the Theology of Saint Symeon the New Theologian [52]

Here, parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51.

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2. 5. 3. Light and Salvation as Holiness


Saint Symeon sees the true fulfillment of human as the reach to holiness and he does not propose us a lower bar for the desire of our heart.

For his Holiness the free will is one that is able to target a such high [u[yoj][1], because „God wants to make us from men gods [qeou.j], but with our will, not without our will”[2].

The proper choice and the fulfillment of all commandments are at Symeon the human effort, of course supported by grace, which we must submit it for to be proper the name of Christian.

In The Ethical Discourse 13 Symeon  says, concerning the conditions of our sanctification, that we arrive to holiness „when we observe with accuracy [avkribw/j thrw/men] all that we promised Him and will run again for all that we have rejected, not returning us again at our vomiting like dogs [II Petr. 2, 22].

By result, if we keep all that He told us and that says to us the Lord Himself, we are really faithful [pistoi,], showing from facts our faith, and make us Saints [ ;Agioi] and  accomplished [te,leioi] as and He [Mt. 5. 48], in the whole celestial  [evpoura,nioi], sons [te,kna] of the heavenly God [Jn. 1, 12], like Him [o;moioi Auvtw/|]  [I Jn. 3, 2] in everything, by adoption [qe,sei] and grace [ca,riti]”[3].

After how is observed from this quote, Simeon equalizes all the fundamental terms of the phrase.

He puts the equal sign between faithful [pistoi,], Saints  [ ;Agioi], accomplished [te,leioi], heavenly people [evpoura,nioi] and the sons of God [Qeou/ te,kna].

With other words, in the multiple entitlings of holiness we must not see only a synonymous reality. The true believers are the Saints and the holiness means perfection, the filial communion with God, our filling by heavenly qualities.

 The desire to save us, the facts of our faith and the grace, which are subsequent to the receipt of the grace through Baptism, are those that deify us.

In the same discourse, Symeon sees the sin as non-fulfillment of God’s commandments[4], which are sacred and makerof-life [tw/n a`gi,wn kai. zwopoiw/n][5].

This sin of the non-deification through the fulfillment of commandments, adds Simeon, has serious consequences on a personal level, for that „separate us from the Church of His servants Saints  [th/j VEkklhsi,aj tw/n `Agi,wn dou,lwn Auvtou/] and we put off through sin the divine garment which we clothe at our Baptism, and that, as we believe, is Christ [Gal. 3, 27], and not only that, but we are deprived of eternal life [th/j aivwni,ou zwh/j] and of the shortcoming light itself [tou/ avdu,tou fwto,j], of the eternal goodnesses [tw/n aivwni,wn avgaqw/n], of consecration  [tou/ avgiasmou/] and of adoption [th/j ui`oqesi,aj]”[6].

And in this second passage quoted, Symeon aligns the eternal life with the shortcoming light and with the eternal goodnesses, that proper realities of living of the Saints and of the servants of God.

Those who do not fulfill the commandments, emphasizes he, they are selfcondemned to Gehenna[7]. But heavenly people, the deified are those who „see with the mind on the Lord, … are limpid enlightened and in conscious face by His light, … remain always in the sight of His glory…[and] they see in themselves on God”[8].

The holiness keep by the commandments but and by the presence of grace in our being and the continue sight of the divine light.

Those who fall from light and from the Kingdom of Heavens, says Symeon, they must repent and cry for to regain them in themselves[9].

For not create the impression that he knew not about what he speaks then when he speaks about the Saints and holiness, Symeon gives the real signalments of holiness in The Ethical Discourse 9.

Says He, if nations are recognized after clothes, ie after the port which they have it and after the language which they speak it[10], „the Saints are recognized after their decency [kosmio,thtoj] and after the becomingness of their walking [tou/ euvsch,mou badi,smatoj] and after others from their outside, but  the distinctive (sign) [gnw,risma], proper to them, with that they come before us is the word that is born of them with all the exactness  [avkribei,aj] and the truth [avlhqei,aj]”[11].

From these details we find that Symeon puts the equal sign between holiness and knowledge of the truth.

The Saints are recognizable for those who are cleansed of passions, namely for those who see with the eyes of the heart on those in front of them.

The Saints are those who are distinguished by other believers just through the exactness with that they understand and debate the teaching of faith and through the truth and the power of their words.

Those who have the Ghost in them, they have and the true faith and the facts of this belief: „everyone has…the grace of the Ghost [th.n ca,rin tou/ Pneu,matoj] through the makingofgood [avgaqoergi,aj] and the true faith [avlhqinh/j pi,stewj]”[12].

With other words, we can not have the grace of the Ghost, we can not feel Him in us without the true faith and the good facts conformable to this divine faith. For that the grace to be in us, we must confess and to fulfill the divine fund of the Orthodox faith.

[1] SC 129, The Ethical Discourses, VII, 597, p. 198 / Ică jr. 1, p. 298.

[2] Idem, The Ethical Discourses, VII, 598-599, p. 198 / Ibidem.

[3] Idem, The Ethical Discourses, XIII, 185-192, p. 412-414 / Idem, p. 386.

[4] Idem, The Ethical Discourses, XIII, 193-204, p. 414 / Idem, p. 387.

[5] Idem, The Ethical Discourses, XIII, 193-194, p. 414 / Ibidem.

[6] Idem, The Ethical Discourses, XIII, 201-207, p. 414  / Ibidem.

[7] Idem, The Ethical Discourses, XIII, 219-220, p. 416 / Ibidem.

[8] Idem, The Ethical Discourses, XIII, 270-273, p. 418 / Idem, p. 389.

[9] Idem, The Ethical Discourses, XIII, 278-281, p. 420 / Ibidem.

[10] Idem, The Ethical Discourses, IX, 275-276, p. 240 / Idem, p. 314.

[11] Idem, The Ethical Discourses, IX, 277-280, p. 240 / Idem, p. 314-315.

[12] Idem, The Ethical Discourses, IX, 290-291, p. 240 / Idem, p. 315.


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