The Sight of God in the Theology of Saint Symeon the New Theologian [73]

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, 71, 72.


His feeling in us, as the One we rise from the dead and our transformation through Him, our transfiguration through Him, starting from our soul and continuing with our whole body, means His undeniable evidence in our life.

The impartation into consciousness, ie through the sensing of His divinity, united in inseparable mode with the Body and His Blood is the certainty of our faith, the reactualization of our union with Him and the consciousness that this union will increase all more in this life and in throughout eternity.

In the expectation of eternal union with our Bridegroom, our longing of Him is saturated of the impartation with Him, the One eucharistic and this impartation, in paradoxical mode, opens us an appetite and more for the wish of His sight, of eternal union with Him.

The sacramental impartation with Christ not means a slighting of necessity of His sight but, contrariwise, it is the abyssal ecclesial event that stimulates His search, the desire to see Him as He is.

The Holy Eucharist is neither a closure of Christ in history or a deprivation of Him of transcendence, but the impartation with Him fills us of life of everlastingness, while we are still men of history and, on the other part, makes us to experience very deep His transcendence, just in this  immanence thrilling and saving for us, through which we impart us with Him at the Holy Liturgy.

Christ vouchsafes us, how says Symeon, on  each of us of the likeness with Him, of the pnevmatization of our entire being, without thereby to become sole possessors of the Ghost or of Christ.

Each of us filled with the glory of Christ and sanctify us through it and our source of holiness is the eternal glory of the Trinity.

In the measure in that recant us of Fount of our life, of the glory of the Trinity and we believe that we can save by ourselves and we despise the ecstatic unions and sacramental with Christ, we experience the devastating vacuum of helplessness, of loneliness and of self-destruction, as closing in the narrow circle, suffocating, of egoism.

Therefore Symeon stresses unchecked, that the true union with the eucharistic Christ is not an egoistic act or a personal relation with God, which give us a primacy to others, but it descends us into a greater self-knowledge, in which we live intense our relation with God.

The receiving of the Holy Mysteries opens us the being to love all, for that emphasizes us the opening of our love to God, through the experience of His love to us, which we live it in our being and not from outside of us.

Little farther, all in the ethical Discourse 1, Symeon prolongs the discussion about Matrimony with the one about the reality of union with Christ through the sacramental impartation of Him.

Christ, says he, gives us Himself towards impartation „from His flesh and from His bones, which He showed Apostles after He rose from the dead, saying: „Touch and see that the ghost has not flesh and bones, how you see Me having”[Lk. 24, 39], and from those itself  He gives us to eat [Jn. 6, 56], and through this impartation/ communion  [tis chinonias] makes us one with Him. […]

[Therefore] the Church of believers, ie of sons of God inwritten in heavens [Heb. 12, 23], cannot be a full body and entire [dinate ine is soma artion che olocliron] for God, without its Head, Himself Christ God and cannot live the true life and incorruptible [i zin tin ontos zoin che anoletron], if it is not nourished by Him, in every day, with the Bread the one of all days [Mat. 6, 11], without which we have no life [into us] and we cannot increase until [at the stature] of perfect man, until at the measure of age of His fullness, [which is] of all those who love Him”[1].

Is observed how Symeon reports, on the one part, at the eucharistic Christ as at the real Body of the Lord, about which testifies the Evangel, without to make abstraction through this of the person of Christ or to reduce on Christ only at Eucharist, and how, on the other part, he sees the Church right the mystical Body of Christ, in which each believer is a living member, recognized and attested in heavens by God, who must keep the life into it, through the daily impartation with Christ, the Head and the Bridegroom of Church.

Believers live, stresses Symeon, from the life of Christ, which flows through them, thanks to their union with Him. Without the life of Christ, without the feeling of life of Christ in us, we cannot be living members of Christ, for that we do not feel in us His life, ie His deity.

And without the daily impartation with Him we cannot raise at the stature of perfect believer, of man in which is alive, in evident mode, Christ God.

In  the 10th chapter of the ethical Discourse 1 Symeon explains what means our impartation with worthiness[2].

To eat with worthiness the Body of the Lord, says he, means to receive and to have in us His body took from the Ever Virgin Mary and to feel in us the reality of deity of the Son of God, ie the deity of Him who sits of the right hand of the Father[3].

If we say that Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Son of God is God and man, then, conformable of symeonian logic and of truth, of reality, we must impart with Christ the One mostglorified, ie with Christ the One full of Father’s glory.

For that now, Christ „is no longer known after flesh [II Cor. 5, 17]…but He is [in Eucharist] in body in unbodily face [asomatos en somati], mixing in unspeakable face with beings and our natures and deifying us as on some what are con-corporeal with Him and flesh from His flesh and bones of His bones [Eph. 5, 29].

This is the great thing of His unspeakable oikonomia [tis afrastu iconomias] and of His descent more above of word in us, this is the mystery full of all frightening, which I wavered to write it and of which approach I trembled”[4].

[1] SC 122, The Ethical Discourses, I, 6, 138-144, 166-173, p. 232-234, 234-236 / Ică jr. 1, p. 135-136.

[2] About the impartation with worthiness Symeon longer talk and little farther, in same discourse, in 10, 172-174, p. 264, where reiterating the problem of personal worthiness at the impartation with Christ, he shows that the worthiness consists in the impartation of eternal life of Christ, of conscietization, thus, of divine presence of Christ in our being.

[3] SC 122, The Ethical Discourses, I, 10, 58-62, p. 256 / Ică jr. 1, p. 144-145.

[4] Idem, The Ethical Discourses, I, 10, 67-75, p. 256 / Idem, p. 145.

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