The Sight of God in the Theology of Saint Symeon the New Theologian [64]

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, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63.


But we know the thrilling shout of Symeon to the weakness of his century: „Do not say that is with infirmity to receive the divine Ghost, do not say that is with possibility to save ourselves without Him, do not say that someone can impart of Him without knowing it!

Do not say that God does not let Himself seen by men, do not say that the men do not see the divine light [fos tion] or that the thing is with infirmity in the present times!

Never is not with infirmity [udepote adinaton] this thing, friends, but is very with  possibility [lian dinaton] those who will, but those whose life gave them the cleaning of passions and made ​​them clean the eye of mind”[1].

This shout to contemporaries and followers  is, on the one part, a fundamental distrust in the suppression of the endless chain of holiness in the Church and, in the same time, an absolute confidence in the fact, that God will bring to every man who seek Him the ghostual Father that he needs.

Symeon cannot conceive the Church without Saints and, in the same time, he cannot see the salvation and the holiness outside of the cleaning of passions and of the sight of the divine light.

The ghostual Fathers are gifts of God in our lives, but on they we need to seek through our cleaning of passions, through our searching perpetual as to find authentic ghostual life.

For the meeting with the Father must to sanctify us the life, as to understand him and to follow him.

In the Epistle 3, Symeon substantiates the sending of the Father in our life on the uncurbed love of God for our salvation: „if He gave death on the His Son the One-Begotten that to save us through Him, how is with possibility really, that then when we ask Him to send us or, as to say better, to show us a servant of Him, Holy and true, as to lead us to salvation and to teach us His ways; how is with possibility, I say, to hide a such man from us and to deprive us of a guiding? No, no! Not is with possibility”[2].

The intimation of the true servant of God, of the ghostual Father is a gift of God but which we receive it due of the excess of zeal and of the interior cleanness.

The same happened and with the centurion Cornelius, says Symeon[3], which received advising through Angel and through Apostles due of his godly life.

For to recognize on Father, concludes Symeon, the one that sends us God in special mode for us, „we need of more zeal and bearing of care”[4].

The entrance of the Father in our life is providential and through him we learn the ghostual mode through that to approach us to God.

Our approach to the Father and the relation with him is, in the same time, an advance in our relation with the God of our heart.

In the ethical Discourse 6, Symeon regards on the ghostual Father in his hypostasis of ghostual doctor [ton pnevmaticon iatron][5].

This „receives [on his patient], keeps him, comforts him, shows him all the love and the simplicity, as to entrust him that he will cure him with the medicines [farmacon] which he asked them and he will fulfill his lust”[6].

The ghostual Father utilizes the medicines which shows to him the Holy Ghost, ie he heals on patient together with the Ghost.

He is an authentic medic as long as he works with and through God’s power and, in the same time, is an intercessor of us to God and a good counselor[7].

The ghostual experience, in this hard and thrilling process of the healing of passions, is the principal trump of the ghostual Father.

If we find on the Father, „we receive through him the forgiveness of our sins”[8], for that he leads us at the authentic mode of cleansing of passions and in the same time is our guiding towards the sight of God.

Then when Symeon reports his ghostual experience at the experience of his Father, he sees his own experience as being on full tributary to person and to love of his Father:

„To us…as to speak like a fool [II Cor. 11, 23]…[God] revealed to us through His Ghost, …through the intercessions [ichesies] of The Felicitous and our Holy Father Symeon, as to see, like says the Apostle, the graces that were given to us by God [I Cor. 2, 12]. […]

And the fact that He took face in us [Gal. 4, 19], the One who is with true God, what else is then that He premakes us and He forges us again with all on us ourselves and He changes us at face in the face of His divinity?

Thus I knew that was and Saint Symeon the Pious, who lived as ascetic in the Studion Monastery and the itself experience giving us insurance about those regarding at him [ti pira afti ta peri tutu veveotentes].

For through the discovery of the Ghost that was in him, he sealing us our faith in him, we guard on it without contradictions.

More, igniting from his light, as from a lamp, the candlestick of our soul, we guard it  unextinguished, guarded being by the prayers [efhes] and the intercessions [presvies] of him,  from which freshened being our faith in him increase and will increase – I speak with boldness in God! – bearing its fruit hundredfold in itself the the divine light”[9].

[1] SC 174, Hymns, XVII, 125-134, p. 288/ Ică jr. 3, p. 170.

[2] Epistles, III, apud Ică jr. 3, p.  328.

[3] Idem, III, apud Idem, p. 328-329.

[4] Idem, III, apud Idem, p. 328.

[5] SC 129, The Ethical Discourses, VI, 279, p. 140 / Ică  jr. 1, p. 272.

[6] Idem, The Ethical Discourses, VI, 298-301, p. 140-142 / Idem, p. 273.

[7] Epistles, I, apud Ică jr. 3, p. 310.

[8] Idem, I, apud Idem, p. 317.

[9] SC 129, The Ethical Discourses, IX, 226-232, 246-259, p. 236-238 / Ică jr. 1, p. 313-314.

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