The Sight of God in the Theology of Saint Symeon the New Theologian [65]

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, 64.


The light came in the life of Symeon through his Father and is kept in him through the intercessions of him.

Symeon confesses with much conscientiousness this thing and he considers it a great welldoing in his life and not as on a curtailment of his personality.

The true relation ghostual Fatherghostual son is one that raises reciprocal on two in face of God and of themselves.

The Father does not feel condemned at stagnation if he cares on his ghostual son but, contrariwise, he grows ghostually through this divine work of birth of the new ghostual man and the ghostual son does not feel injured in his human dignity for that he listens to Father, but just through his obedience he acquires his true freedom and dignity in face of God, ie that of being master over his passions.

The ghostual Father borns through many interior torments on his son into the Lord.

In the Epistle 3, Symeon himself, which was modeled into the Ghost by his Father, he says, at his row, to an apprentice: „My beloved in the Lord, I received you at my bosom when you come to me and I modeled you, with much warmth, apprentice through teaching and with many painstakings I made you, again, after the face of Christ through repentance and I born you, again, ghostual child through great patience, strong painstakings and tears of day with day, even if you did not know nothing through how many attempts I passed for you”[1].

The patience and the torments provoked by the misunderstanding and the lack of sapience  of the ghostual son, the care to tell him the truth of salvation and the mode in that you lead him to the divine light on this represents the torment of day with day of the ghostual Father.

The ghostual Father palpitates at every move for his son, he carries in his heart and he suffers for his unfulfillments, after how he enjoys of his successes.

Not only the son shows a total transparency and a boundless love towards Father, but and he is a door always open towards his heart and a guiding sun in his face.

In the same Epistle, Symeon shows that and the Father must to say the greatnesses which he receives from God to his spiritual children, as thanksgiving  brought to God  for the gifts received from Him:

„In the same face and all who have received a ghostual gift from God, have before of all the duty to share it to their ghostual sons, and, more then, and to the friends, to the acquaintances and to his servants, to the rich and to the poor.

Yet and if he has received word of wisdom, word of acquaintance, the gifts of healings [I Cor. 12, 8-9], the guidance of souls, power of help or the discernment of salvation”[2].

The special relation of the Father with his ghostual sons asks, that the first to know the receiving of a vision or of a gift to be they.

The ghostual son must to hear from the Father how illuminates God on him and through this to understand how illuminates God and on he himself.

The identity of the illumination with the Father but on his measure, creates in the ghostual son a special soaring towards increasingly, towards all more cleaning and holiness, for that he observes that the holiness, the growth in holiness is that brings mutilple understanding and gifts over gifts from God.

The ghostual Father is the one that „comprises those of the Ghost”[3] and he can explain from his together-feelings with the Ghost of God.

Those who have not received the grace of God as the Apostles and who have not seen the light of God[4], says Symeon, those cannot help on someone as to be born into the Ghost.

Here Symeon does not speak of a purely human competence, that of being a good pedagogue or a good interpreter of Scripture, of the Fathers and of the canons of the Church, but of the presence of the Ghost in us and of the experience of the sight of the light which are the materials through that we rebuild the human being and we make from it a ghostual being.

Therefore and excludes from start Saint Symeon, from any work of  man’s ghostual rebirth, those who were not sanctified through the Ghost.

The ghostual Father is irreplaceable, is the personal marvel, living, predatory from our life and his departure from us or his move at the Lord leaves an immense void, that we cannot fill it with anything else.

The end of the 4th Epistle, this trenchant, the shaking confession of the spiritual torments aroused of the love of God and of the ghostual Father, gives us the possibility to see the interior dramatic dimension of life holy and of the struggle for the correctness of theological life:

„[…] I am hated for the love of Christ. […] I am condemned by all because I want to honor my Father and my ghostual Teacher. […]

I am proclaimed by them heretic, because I teach on all to seek the grace of above and the coming in conscious face of the Holy Ghost and that without it not makes the forgiveness of sins, nor can anyone to release of passions and of the irrational lusts, nor to make son of God, nor to sanctify accomplished without the grace of the Holy Ghost. […]

[For] the devil has risen on me his servants and he leads war with me as to cease to proclaim in words and to do with the deed the commandments of the Evangel and of the Apostles and to endeavor to renew the evangelical living which was outdated somewhat and became despised, as the men not to have boldness that they can be saved without to receive the grace of the Holy Ghost and without unpassion, and to deceive without to receive Him and to perish”[5].

Saint Symeon feels outraged unjustly of his confreres malicious and envious on his ghostual experience and on the love toward his Father and, in the same time, he knows that his persecution is for righteousness, for the remembrance of the true evangelical living to his contemporaries.

If from a such theological passage, some commentators has pulled the conclusion that Symeon is a precursor of the protestantism, this affirmation proves itself one gratuitous.

Symeon has not pushed never on his disciples as to make a new Church (evident thing from point of view historic), in which to live after the example of evangelical living, as Luther, Calvin and Zwingli, but he fought against a false opinion, generalized in the Church of his time, about the true orthodox living.

Symeon shows through the icon of his Father, of him and of his apprentices Holy that the true evangelical living and orthodox was not lost in the Church, but that just this the authentic living began to be persecuted by the Church’s men, which do not live at the height of its exigences.

In conclusion, those who were not born through a ghostual Father, through a Saint which binds in uninterrupted mode of the string of Church’s Saints, cannot know the relation so much deep and overwhelming of the Father with his sons, how and of God with us, His sons.

Saint Symeon shows on the ghostual Father right the guarantor of authenticity of ghostual life on earth and as the one that reborns us, through the Ghost, on each in part.

[1] Epistles, III, apud Ică jr. 3, p. 323.

[2] Idem, III, apud Idem, p. 325.

[3] Idem, III, apud Idem, p. 334.

[4] Idem, IV, apud Idem, p. 351.

[5] Idem, IV, apud Idem, p. 357, 358.

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