The Sight of God in the Theology of Saint Symeon the New Theologian [79]

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, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78.


The divine grace is received and kept in us through repentance and the repentance is the road towards the sight of God.

The forgiveness is asked through repentance and the forgiveness means the receiving and more abundant of grace in us, without which we are not living members of Christ.

At our Father, the repentance and the sacramental forgiveness of our sins and the unceasing weeping for our interior nakedness are alike some gates of the altar, which open to us towards our sacramental union with Christ, our God:

The Holy of Saints!, say, in every day, some and they herald the others crying with great voice. […] And the others hear on those saying these.

What is it, so? Who is not Saint is, indeed, and unworthy? No!

But who does not herald [exanghellon] in every day the hidden of his heart, who does not show repentance worthy [metanian axian] for them and for all made into nescience, who does not weep ever and do not walk grieving and not cross with zeal those said before, this is not worthy.

And who do all these and spends his life in sighs and tears is very worthy to make sharer of these Divine Mysteries not only in day of holiday but in every day, and, even if is daring thing to say this, still from the beginning of repentance and of his return.

Because this is forgiven, as one who wants to insist until end in deeds as these, walking in humbleness and in broken heart [Ps. 50, 10].

For making so and being thus, he lightens the soul in every day [fotizete tin psihin osimere], helped at this by the impartation of those Holy and he rises more rapid towards a cleanness and perfect holiness[1].

The daily confession of sins, merged with the daily impartation with eucharistic Christ, is for Symeon an authentic experience of the state of repentance but and of ghostual fulfillment.

Our worthiness in the face of impartation with the Lord is not formed by our good deeds, but from the recognition of self, the recognition of our ghostual poverty in the face of His unspeakable abundance.

The one integrates into repentance as in the normal flux of his life is, for Symeon, worthy by the daily impartation with the Lord, for that his forgiveness means the real assuming of proper helplessness.

For this continuous assuming, in that does not slip not a bit of self-justification, he lights daily through impartation and he rises rapid, very fast, towards a perfect holiness.

Saint Symeon does not something else in this passage than to transmit us his total dipping in the eucharistic communion and ecstatic with God. He himself was the one who practiced the confession of sins and the current impartation with the eucharistic Christ and, in the same time, he was filled of divine sights, which lead at an astounding increase, in short time, of his life.

Saint Symeon is an authentic recordman of eucharistic experience and ecstatic, for that he proved through his increase, that these two paths are connexed and that the Church is the frame of experience of God’s glory and of increase,  stunning of rapid, in holiness.

The repentance attracts and keeps in us the divine grace, but the interior feeling of grace keeps, in the same time, and of sacramental forgiveness.

Through the passage from the Catechesis 33, which we will quote immediately, we pass from the repentance as habitual state, effervescent of the orthodox christian at the problematic concerning at the confessor priest and at the feeling of grace, both in priest, what and in the one who confesses to him.

In the catechesis above mentioned, our Father sketches, in antithetic mode, the ghostual profile of the true priest confessor: „one which seems to have into himself – if this is with possibility – all virtues, but does not have in him the light of the Holy Ghost, neither sees well his deeds, neither is entrusted in perfect face, if they are on the liking of God, that one is not worthy to receive foreign thoughts [ude loghismus allotrius estin anadeheste axios], even if would be done by people patriarch, until he will not have light shining into himself.

For says Christ: „Walk until you have the light, as catch not you the darkness. And he who walks into darkness does not know where he goes  [Jn. 12, 35]””[2].

Cannot confess, says Saint Symeon, the priests and the hierarchs who do not feel in them on the One who forgives or through Which they forgive, ie on the Ghost.

 The worthiness of confessor is given by God as a charisma, trough a virtuous life and through the interior entrusting, that God wellwishes into us.

The relation of personal communion with God and the presence of grace and of light in our being are those which guarantees us, as priests confessors, the real clearing and cure of those who confess to us, for that through the Ghost we realize all operations of the interior renovation of christians.

Therefore, Symeon urges the clergy of Church, in his integrality, to ask on the old and the archiereuses of Church, as to learn[3] how to make us „alike with God through experience”[4].

For him the ghostual experience is the interior frame in which we must receive the cheirotonia and only through the Ghost we can see and to cleanse from sins on those who confess to us.

Our Father does not contest the sacramental cheirotonia of the unworthy and their presence in Church (for that just against of their unstraightening he spoke), but he stresses the fact, that the worthies/ the apostolic dignities [ton apostolicon axiomaton][5], which we receive through cheirotonia, are not received with true in our being, if we do not have and the interior perfection which these ask from us, ie the knowledge of the mysteries of God [tu Teu mistirion][6], of the road of personal deification.

Exists, thus, for Symeon, members of the clergy which have entered through the cheirotonia from men, how says he, without receiving and the feeling of grace in their being, the conscious feeling, uninterrupted, deifying, ie and the cheirotonia of God and these serve those of the Master without as to feel, in active mode, how deify them through the grace of God and how deify and on those whom they serve.

Our Father makes, on right, this fundamental distinction between the members of clergy legal cheirotoned, for that he could not stipulate [how he has not made it neither at Baptism or in the frame of discussion about the sacramental impartation] a receiving and a work of Mystery, without as the one who serves or the one who receives it not feel nothing in its frame.

For Symeon a Holy Mystery is personal experienced in real mode, through it unite us with God’s glory and all participants at it, ie both the clerics and the believers, live from full its deifying irradiance.

On the base of the living reality and plenary of sacramental experience, Symeon will talk about the charisma of the forgiveness of sins, where merges both the sacramental forgiveness, de facto, but and the ghostual ability of to integrate on the one which was confessed in the process of his full clearing of passions.

[1] SC 96, The Catechesises, IV, 604-622, p. 362-364 / Ică jr. 2, p. 70-71.

[2]  SC 113, The Catechesises, XXXIII, 33-43, p. 250-252 / Idem, p. 339.

[3] Idem, The Catechesises, XXXIII, 218-221, p. 264 / Idem, p. 344.

[4] Idem, The Catechesises, XXXIII, 221, p. 264 / Ibidem.

[5] Idem, The Catechesises, XXXIII, 223, p. 264 / Idem, p. 345.

[6] Idem, The Catechesises, XXXIII, 224, p. 266 / Ibidem.

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