The Sight of God in the Theology of Saint Symeon the New Theologian [66]

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, 65.



 2. 6. The Holy Mysteries of the Church and the Feeling of the Divine Grace

Symeonian sacramentology has a direct connection at the reality of God’s sight, for that in the Holy Mysteries you feel the presence of the divine grace, if you are received in ecstatic mode on the Holy Ghost.

Saint Symeon deals of all the Mysteries of the Church more or less, without as to write in express mode a special work about the Mysteries of the Church.

But his opera, after how we will see, has multiple and enough of important sacramentological traces, from which we can understand the role and the importance which he gave them in the mystical life of the Church[1].


2. 6. 1. The Holy Baptism and the Sight of God

We have remembered several times before now the defining role of Baptism in our life, the role of the sacramental gate through that we enter in the communion with the Most Holy Trinity.

The Holy Baptism is the moment of our entry in the relation with God and, in the same time, the moment of our creation as living members of the mystical body, secret of Christ, ie of the Holy Church.

And we begin the commentary at the sacramental theology of Symeon with a place very concise, in that speaks to us about what represents the Baptism in our life but and about the ghostual life:

„From the divine Baptism we receive the forgiveness of sins [tin ton imartimenon lamvanomen afesin] and we are, in the same time, release of curse [tis proin cataras elefterumeta] and through the coming of the Holy Ghost we are sanctified [aghiazometa].

But the perfect grace [tin telian harin], after how was said: „I will dwell and I will walk into them” [II Cor. 6, 16], we do not [receive] then [u tote].

For this thing is of those who have a safe faith [ton veveopiston] and show it from facts  [ton ergon].

Because, after Baptism, we incline towards evil facts and of shame and [through these] we cast with all this consecration [ton aghismon is apan apovallometa].

But, through repentance [metania], confession  [exomologhisi] and tears  [dacrisi] we take, on their measure [cata analoghian], first the forgiveness of sins, and, together with this, and  the sanctification of above of the grace[2].

The passage which we have quoted is an inexhaustible gold mine for the understanding of the role of Baptism in our life.

In the first row we find that we cannot cleanse from sins and we cannot fill of the Ghost through ourselves or only believing in Christ.

Saint Symeon binds the forgiveness of sins, our cleaning from the curse of sin and the coming of the Holy Ghost in us by the moment of receiving of the Holy Baptism, moment in that we enter in Church.

The Baptism is for him a consecration of us.  The sanctification is all one with the coming of the Ghost in us, which means the forgiveness, the deletion of sins from our being.

The forgiveness and the release of the curse are not aprioristic to the coming of the Ghost in us but just the coming of the Ghost means the cleaning of sins, the deleting of the curse from us and our indwelling by the Ghost.

The sanctification, our filling of holiness is a coming of the Ghost in us, ie a discovery, a sacramental experiencing in us of the coming of the Ghost.

Symeon is categorical in what regards the coming of the Ghost and he speaks of sanctification which the Ghost produces in us as about a personal reality.

He who baptizes refelt in the deep of his being the coming of the Ghost, this personal discovery, the personal interiorization of God with us, through the intermedium of His glory.

But exists a difference of degree, emphasizes our Father, between the feelings of the grace by those who are baptizing, by beginners, in comparison with those who are sunken in holiness or are perfect into it.

[1] Father Gheorghe Sima, into an article from the his period of youth, dedicated of Saint Symeon, said that at him, „the Holy Mysteries have…a christologic character, pnevmatologic and ecclesial and are not simple symbols and ceremonies”, acc. PhD Student Gheorghe Sima, The Work of the Holy Ghost in the Mystery of Repentance at Saint Symeon the New Theologian [Lucrarea Sfântului Duh în Taina Pocăinţei la Sfântul Simeon Noul Teolog], in rev. Theological Studies [Studii Teologice], XLII (1990), no. 3, p. 50.

[2] SC 51, Chapters, III, 45, 9-19, p. 93 / Ică jr. 3, p. 408.

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