The Sight of God in the Theology of Saint Symeon the New Theologian [71]

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, 68, 69, 70.


In the end of the Hymn 15 Symeon attacks  fugitive the problem of the Baptism but explains us full in what regard our ecclesial identity received through Baptism and reminds us and how quickly produces the loss of feeling of grace: „receiving on God through Baptism on when we were small or, better said, making us sons of God on when we were babies, sinning we were immediately thrown out of the house of David and happened it to us without to feel something and to run [back at Him] through repentance”[1].

We threw us out of the Kingdom, ie of the house of David, as long as we do not stay at the height of exigencies of faith and of interior feeling of the Holy Ghost.

In the Epistle 1, our Father reiterates the gracial reality of the Baptism expressed here,  naming on the Ghost wealth and divine inheritance, acc. Col. 1, 12, Eph. 3, 8,  II  Cor. 4, 7[2], and specifying the fact that these „are given to the baptized immediately by the divine Baptism”[3].

But in the Epistle 4 he presents our life as on an assumed life for God, for that we promised us then when we were baptized[4].

Our returning at an evil life, sinful, is for Symeon a violation of our promises made at Baptism[5].

For him our road after Baptism is a road together with Christ, is a life lived in the Ghost and any deviation from it makes through a return through repentance at the union with the feeling of Trinity’s grace.

In conclusion, symeonian soteriology is, in the same time, sacramental – for that it begins once with the Baptism – and is, alike, and ecstatic, for that the sight of the light represents the explicit knowledge of Him who saves us.

The earnest of Baptism is not than reconfirmed through ecstasy and understood on measure of our ghostual development. But the reaching at light presuposses our entry in Church through Baptism and an interior growing intimation, through the fulfillment of divine commandments, of divine grace received at Baptism.

Symeon sees the Baptism as an entry in communion with God and as a quotidian actualization of it[6] until the full union and for eternity of each of us with God.


2. 6. 2. Holy Communion, the Feeling of Grace and the Ecstasy


As and in the case of Baptism, Saint Symeon explained, from soteriological point of view, the divine consequences that arise in our being the conscious union, full of longing, with the Body and the Blood of the Lord.

The discussion about Holy Communion has right fundament our union with Christ and with the Ghost, with entire Trinity in Baptism and the keeping our relation alive, incandescence with the God of our salvation.

But, before all, the symeonian eucharistic theology characterizes our sacramental union with Christ right a real experiencing, personal of  mystery of divine-human person of Christ.

The impartation with eucharistic Christ is the personal event of deep personal communion of the faithful with Christ, through which we acquire a proper understanding, interior of christological dogma, for that we live the real communion with Christ, the personal dimension of Christ’s presence in the Eucharist.

The eucharistic realism of Symeon comes from the realism of divine-human person of Christ.

For that Christ is alive, forever alive and He Himself gives us as eternal life, just therefore the interior reception of eucharistic Christ is an  exciting one, deifying for us, for that is His indwelling in us and the unspeakable joy that He is in personal mode with us and not just substantial.

For Symeon, the Eucharist is not understood in terms of substantiality or of replacement of Christ with the Holy Eucharist but, contrariwise, the Eucharist is, for Symeon, one that strengthens our link of communion with Christ, Who is in a personal mode in relation with us.

In the ethical Discourse 4, as to begin with a suggestive passage, Symeon initiates an eucharistological discussion starting from the image of loving father, that stays at the table with his sons[7].

Then when the heavenly Father (Symeon moves the center of attention from the paradigm at the reality suggested by this) wants to sit at the table with His sons and to enjoy with them, He does not give them something different from Himself but He gives Himself to them, acording Jn. 6, 33, as Bread, that comes down from heaven, for to give life to the world[8].

Symeon does not quote at happening on the Evangelist John with 6, 33. For Symeon, The Holy Eucharist is not a symbol or something in that is not communicated to us the life of Christ but, in Eucharist, Christ communicates to us His glory and He is with us, with those who are imparting with Him in eucharistic mode.

However the Eucharist does not replace on Christ as person, but Himself Christ crucified and risen, Who ascended at heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father, unites with us in the Eucharist.

As and John the Theologian, Symeon the Theologian speaks about the impartation with eucharistic Christ in the terms of interior communion with Christ, through which Christ remains in those who impart with Himself and the believers remain in the deepest relation with Christ. Through Eucharist we unite and are with the Son of God incarnate, Who is the real food of His sons, of the members of the Church and Who is with His Church in any moment.

Priests and bishops of the Church prepare the Precious Gifts and bring them, put them before, on altar, as these to be sanctified by the descent of the Ghost. These are the fruit of the earth and of our work.

However, once with their sanctification, we do not speak about bread and wine but about eucharistic Christ, of His Body and Blood the ones deified, those filled of divine light.

However never Symeon does not identify in substantial mode the Eucharist with Christ but he speaks about the impartation with Christ as about a impartation, alike, of humanity and divinity of the person of Lord.

Says Symeon here, in the trace of johannine citation enunciated: „and from Him and with Him feed unceasing until at satiety [coron trefonte aenaos], preparing through impartation for eternal life and sanctifying the soul and the body”[9].

The impartation is for sons, for the sons that stay at the table of love with their Father the Beloved. The impartation leaves real traces in our being, for that it sanctifies us, prepares us for eternity, for our continuous impartation of His sight and it longer has a defining role which surprises Symeon: Holy Communion saturates, delights in continuous on those who impart in repeated mode of it.

As and in the case of Baptism, Symeon insists on the absolute positivity, on the beneficial stunning aspect, at personal level, of receiving of the Holy Mysteries, on the fact that they fill us of the glory of God, that they sanctify us, fill us of all the joy and the gratitude.

The deprivation of the impartation with Christ, says Symeon, is received by the sons, who abuse of their freedom[10], as a deprivation of good[11], of the good which they lived in them being in enthusiastic mode, then when they sat at the table with their heavenly Father.

Those who are restored through repentance, as living members, awakeners of the Master’s table, come with more boldness, says Symeon, and with more longing to Christ and with trust in the glory of God[12].

[1] SC 156, Hymns, XV, 253-257, p. 298 / Ică jr. 3, p. 96-97.

[2] Epistles, I, apud Ică jr.  3, p. 306.

[3] Idem, I, apud Ibidem.

[4] Idem, IV, apud Idem, p. 346.

[5] Idem, IV, apud Idem, p. 347.

[6] Speaking about the authenticity of theological experience, Father Daniel Benga said into an article relative recent, that „any authentic religious experience cannot take place than in the ecclesial space” and that the orthodox theology being „through excellency a charismatic theology and liturgical” is „always living, [is] a form of ierurgy or [a] holy work, something that changes our life”, acc. Rev. Lect. D.Th. Daniel Benga, Attempts of Orthodox Theological Epistemology [Încercări de epistemologie teologică ortodoxă], în rev. Orthodoxy [Ortodoxia] LVI (2005), no. 3-4, p. 91**, 93.

[7] SC 129, The Ethical Discourses, IV, 280-281, p. 28 / Ică jr. 1, p. 227.

[8] Idem, The Ethical Discourses, IV, 285-289, p. 28/ Ibidem.

[9] Idem, The Ethical Discourses, IV, 289-291, p. 28/ Ibidem.

[10] Idem, The Ethical Discourses, IV, 292-293, p. 28 / Ibidem.

[11] Idem, The Ethical Discourses, IV, 297, p. 28 / Ibidem.

[12] Idem, The Ethical Discourses, IV, 307-309, p. 30 / Ibidem.

Lasă un răspuns

Adresa ta de email nu va fi publicată. Câmpurile obligatorii sunt marcate cu *