The Sight of God in the Theology of Saint Symeon the New Theologian [68]

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, 66, 67.


Speaking of earnest or of ring [ton dactilion][1], ie of receiving of the Ghost at Baptism, Symeon speaks in Chapters III, 50 about Baptism as about a our betrothal with Christ.

If in Baptism we betrothed with Christ through the Holy Ghost and our christian life is a life lived in beautiful fidelity to our Bridegroom, then the Kingdom of Heavens, says Symeon, and   the eternal goods, we receive them after we leave from here, after our dormition, having through earnest the certitude of eternal marriage with our Bridegroom[2].

Into a such perspective as the symeonian, our life in Church is a life of intense longing for our Bridegroom, of calling and feelings in cleanness for Him, in unceasing calling of Him in our being, for to prepare us of the great crossing to Him and to our eternal wedding with Him.

The personal eshatology transforms thus into a crossing in rejoicing, into an eternal wedding with our Bridegroom and of Church in its integrality and not into a loneliness without finish, excruciating and aberrant.

The death is an entrance in joy for one who has lived in holiness, is the complete fulfillment of personal life and an eternal forwardness in the communion with the Bridegroom Christ.

From symeonian perspective the life has sense, one eternal, for that the joy of communion with God transcends history and makes from the the sacramental act of Baptism, spent in history and, in the same time, in eternity, an opening and  a real entrance and abyssal of us in eternal life.

Symeon also deals of Baptism in this third series of chapters and in the chapters 89 and 90.

In the chapter 89, the Baptism is evaluated from the point of view of freedom of the human will.

Our Father tells us, that „the power to determine on ourselves [aftexusion] and the freedom of our choice [aftoproereton] are not removed [aferite] [from us] through Baptism, but it gives us the freedom to not be tyrannized against of our will [acontas imas tiranniste] by the devil.

For after Baptism stays in our power either to remain from proper will in the commandments of the Lord Christ, into Whom we baptized, and to walk on the path of His commandments, either to deviate us from this straight road and to return us at the adversary [ton antipalon] and the our enemy [ehtron], the devil, through the evil facts”[3].

The Baptism, regarded under the aspect of  our deparasiticalness of demons and of their tyranny is a chasing of the demons from us through the coming of the Ghost and of our dwelling by grace but, in the same time, is and the moment of proper independence, experienced as real dependence, deep of God.

The true freedom of man, reminds us our Father, we do not receive it through birth, ie through natural descent, but it is a gift of God that we receive it in Baptism, from He Himself.

The exercising in the true freedom means the exercesing in the fulfillment of the commandments and in our feelings into the Ghost, for that „those who succumb after Baptism to the wills of the wicked and make the things willed by that, those are alienated [apallotriusi] on themselves of the holy womb of the Baptism”[4], ie of the eternal life of the Ghost.

The verb apallotrioo [to remove, to alienate], as and the verb apovallo, of that I remembered previously, are verbs that represent, in distinct mode, in the writing of Symeon, our personal action through which we choose evil, against us,  through which we choose the communion with demons.

Our alienation from God is a personal choice but one evil, not good, through which we renounce at the dignity of sons, friends, of communionals of God, in the favor of maliciousness and of inconsistent rejection of our racordation at the life of God, at the true life.

Our removal of the holiness of the Baptism means our casting of the Holy Ghost, of the One who is live in us from Baptism.

But through the ethical Discourse 10 we approach and more of discussing of the interior relation between the grace of Baptism and the sight of the divine light.

Speaking here about Baptism, our Father attentionates on his listeners that the receiving of the Baptism, without the feeling in us of the Ghost, is a catastrophe for our life[5].

We cannot be, he says here in accentuated mode, we cannot be, „in unfelt face/ imperceptible [interior] [anepestitos], sons of the day and of the light”[6].

As to be the sons of glory we must perceive with the eyes of the heart, to see the light of God. And for that to save us must not to enter only in the water of Baptism and to boast us that we are orthodox-christians, but and to live and to keep the Ghost in us: „because our salvation is not only in the water of the Baptism, but and in the Ghost[7].

If we baptize us in water must to show that is live, in daily mode, the Ghost of God in us and that we have the facts of the Light.

With other words, the orthodox-christian life is the ghostual life, the state of to-be-always in the grace of Trinity, the experience, in quotidian mode, with and through the glory of God.

[1] SC 51, Chapters, III, 49, 24, p. 94 / Ică jr. 3, p. 409.

[2] Idem, Chapters, III, 50, 27-33, 1-4, p. 94-95 / Ibidem.

[3] Idem, Chapters, III, 89, 8-16, p. 109 / Idem, p. 420.

[4] Idem, Chapters, III, 90, 17-19, p. 109 / Ibidem.

[5] SC 129, The Ethical Discourses, X, 166-170, p. 270 / Ică jr. 1, p. 327.

[6] Idem, The Ethical Discourses, X, 169-170, p. 270 / Ibidem.

[7] Idem, The Ethical Discourses, X, 188-189, p. 272 / Idem, p. 328.

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