The Sight of God in the Theology of Saint Symeon the New Theologian [82]

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, 79, 80, 81.


We reproduce of the second passage from the Epistle 1, which goes on the same interior line of receiving of charisma [nor cannot be otherwise] and which cannot be understood in authentic mode, until we do not see all symeonian syllogistical on this theme:

„The Saints Apostles have transmitted, through succession, this authority those who held their seats…and the apprentices of Lord have guarded with exactness this authority. But, after how I said, once with the crossing of time, the worthy were mixed with the unworthy…[that many showed themselves] hypocriting hypocritical the virtue.

For, since when those who held the seats of Apostles showed themselves bodily and lovers of pleasure and of glory and were inclined to heresies, the divine grace has left them and this authority has been taken from them. Therefore, leaving they and all other which must have those who serve the Holy, has asked them only to be orthodoxies.

But I believe that they were not neither any this.

For orthodox is not only those who have not introduced new dogmas in the Church of God, but and those who have earned a life in accord with the right word [of teaching].

On one as this the patriarchs and the metropolitans from various times, or have searched him but they not found him, or finding him they preferred, in the place of him, on the unworthy, asking only to expose, in writing, the symbol of faith and accepting only this: as he not to be neither a zealous for good, neither to fight with someone from the cause of evil, pretending that thus holds the peace in Church – but thing that is worse than any enmity and cause of great unseating.

Therefore from this cause, the priests were made worthless and have reached as the nation…knowing and covering each other the passions, have reached worse than the nation, and the nation worse than them.

But some of the nation showed themselves better even than many priests, lightening in that dark devoid of light as some charcoals. […]

And, because between people remained only the attire and the coat of priesthood, the gift of the Ghost passed at monks, as at some who came, through facts, at the life of Apostles, and [this] was made ​​known through signs.

But and here the devil has worked on those of him…and the monks have reached worthless and they have made with all unmonks.

Thus, neither the monks only with the coat, neither those cheirotoned and entered in the rank of priesthood, neither those honest with the dignity of archieria, ie the patriarchs, the metropolitans and the bishops has not been given by God pure and simply, so, only from the cause of cheirotonia and of its dignity, and the power to forgive the sins – not to be! – , but they were permitted only to serve the Holy, and I reckon, that many of them not any this – lest, grass being, not to be burned! – , but only those, which between priests, archiereuses and monks are numbered through cleanness together with the choirs of Christ’s disciples”[1].

The decadence of majority of the members of Church is explained by our Father through the prism of loss of feeling of grace, which has been removed from them, for that they do not have a life of holiness.

Is observed that Symeon has no accents of protestant avant le temps, through which to ask the abolition of the sacramental priesthood, but he shows that, although, in functional mode, the Church has sacramental hierarchy and respects a  certain orthodox conduct and a certain conformity, more formal, with the orthodoxy of Church’s faith, than personal experienced, few are those which have a saintly life and feel what spends with them in the Mystery of Cheirotonia or in all the Mysteries and the services of Church.

But, in the same time, on measure what Symeon ascertains the lack of gracious experience at the members of clergy contemporary himself, he not preaches a forsaking of Church by the Ghost and neither a loss with all of reality of holiness from Church, as long as his life and his mystical experiences prove a strong raccordation at the life of Trinity and at life of Church.

He has not a ecclesiological theology vacuumed of holiness, after how we will see into a  subsequent section, and neither sees a rupture of the Church, from his time, of the initial life of the Church or of the direct action of the Most Holy Trinity.

Saint Symeon has no a vocation of protester, after how would want to bring him out a protestant  hermeneutic, but one of mystical Theologian, of verbalizer of holiness of christian living in Church, that is proper and absolute necessary in any century.

In the third passage that we will quote from the Epistle 1, will see and better the mode in that Symeon restored for his generation and for ours, the understanding of the power to forgive the sins, under both dimensions, ie not just historic and not just charismatic, but historico-charismatic[2]: the one who listened of his ghostual father and „he spat on all the glory from world…realizing all the virtue which we hear it reading in the Holy Scriptures and he crossed, likewise, all the work of those good, he has experienced in every day the progress, the change, the rank [on which he has it] and he was taken towards the height of divine glory…[that one can] know on himself that he has reached partaker of God and of His charismata and he will be known so and by those who see well, nay even and by those with weak view. […]

For all those who have guarded…the  commandments of God until at death…[they have found their souls] in the light thought with the mind and so, in this light, they saw the unapproachable Light, on the Lord Himself. […]

[For that Christ comes] to those who seek Him, how knows only He Himself…[and He gives them] the grace of seeing on He Himself.

This means to find your soul: to see on God, to reach in His light taller than all the creature seen, and to have as Shepherd and Teacher on God, from Which he will know, if you want, and the power to loose and to bind and, knowing it exact, he will worship the One who gave it to him and he will communicate it those who need it.

Some like them know, child, that is given to them the power to loose and to bind by God the Father and by our Lord Jesus, through the Holy Ghost: those who are His sons through adoption, Saints and slaves of Him.

To a Father like this [to Saint Symeon the Pious] I was apprentice and I. He did not have the cheirotonia from men, but he inscribed me in apprenticeship with the hand or with the Ghost of God and he commanded me, to which was put long ago in motion towards this, with strong desire, by the Holy Ghost, to receive beautiful the cheirotonia from men, after the model followed of custom”[3].

Is observed from this last citation, that Symeon requires from those who want to enter in sacramental hierarchy of the Church the experience of receiving of the Ghost, ie of the sight of light, for to receive, afterwards, and the legal cheirotonia.

The Father confessor must have, in the same time, the legal sacramental cheirotonia and, simultaneously, the legal cheirothesia into confessor, but and the interior presence, conscientized of the Holy Ghost, through Which he has, with true, the power to bind and the loose the sins of men.

In the last part of the passage quoted is seen, how the charisma of forgiveness, about which speaks Symeon, is not the sacramental, through which the priest looses or binds the sins of men, but, instead, is the charismatic power of to introduce on someone, through the Ghost, in the true experience of the cleansing of passions.

Saint Symeon the Pious was not priest, says Symeon, but he introduced him, through the Ghost, in the communion with God, Which cleanses us from passions.

The charismatic Fathers about that speaks Symeon here, those who have the power to bind and to loose, can be and from outside of clergy, between monks and laymans, but this power to bind and to loose is not the sacramental, on which we know it in the Mystery of Holy Confession, but the presence in them of the Holy Ghost, on which they can transmit it and to us, whence we can ignite and us the lamp (how said, at a time given, Symeon) and through this become our true cleaners of sins.

They cleanse us from sins not through the sacramental forgiveness of the Holy Confession, but just through ghostual contagion, through the receiving from them of the feeling of grace, which is in their being and through that we can clean and us of sins.

Saint Symeon is full grateful to his ghostual Father, after how I said, for that, through him, he received on the Ghost, has acquired the sight.

The entrance in the communion with God, through the apprenticeship to a charismatic Father, means the entrance in full forgiveness of sins and in the deleting with all of the passions.

[1] Epistles, I, apud Ică jr. 3, p. 314-315.

[2] Father Duşe noted into a article about the Holy Confession at Saint Symeon, that „for him the Confession constituted an indivisible all, a charismatic act”, for that the repentance, so how saw it Symeon, as „permanent state” or as on a personal reality with „eschatological character”, „is that leads to theology, understood here as a contemplation of God, reached on the tallest steps of purity and of unpassion”, acc. Rev. Lect. PhD student Călin-Ioan Duşe, The Mistery of Holy Confession at Saint Symeon the New Theologian [Taina Sfintei Spovedanii la Sfântul Simeon Noul Teolog], in Theological Horizons [Orizonturi teologice] II (2001), no. 1, p. 115, 107**, 108.

[3] Epistles, I, apud Ică jr. 3, p. 316-317.

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