The Sight of God in the Theology of Saint Symeon the New Theologian [83]

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, 82.


Become us, we believe, very evident the accuracy of our commentary, in the light of the finale of Epistle 1:

„To seek, so, better, with tiredness, such of men, who are disciples of Christ, and with the anguish of heart and many tears to pray Him entire days, as to get down the veil from the eyes of our hearts as to recognize them, in the case in that will find one like this in this evil generation and cunning, for as, finding him, to receive through him the forgiveness of our sins, obeying us the commandments and his orderlinesses from all the soul, so how and that one listening the words of Christ was made partaker of the grace and of His gifts and received from Him the power to loose and to bind the sins ignited being by the Holy Ghost”[1].

Is observed how Symeon sees the power to forgive the sins of the charismatic Fathers just in the science of to lead, toward to clean of the passions, through ascesis.

If in sacramental mode, wants to tell us Symeon, we receive the forgiveness of sins made by us, the charismatic Fathers teaches us, through the Ghost, not only how to cleanse us the sins, but and how to separate us, interior, of our passions, how to reach, through the Ghost, at unpassion and deification.

But we cannot, in no case, to accuse on those two Saints remembered, on Symeon, the Father, and on Symeon the New Theologian, the Apprentice, that have usurped the dignity and the charismatic power of cheirotonia and of legal cheirothesia, but, contrariwise, we must see in their effort of to render right, measured and total understanding of charism of forgiveness of sins, an effort of restoration, extraordinary of benefic, of understanding of charisma of forgiveness in the Church, which presuppose, as the Father confessor to be a ghostual Father with legal cheirotonia, but and with the real experience, overwhelming of the Holy Ghost.

Is not enough, reminds us our Father, the New Theologian, to receive the legal cheirotonia from the hands of a father bishop, but we must receive, and from God, the entrusting of this cheirotonia, through the sight of His light and through the profound communion with God, through which to be the speaking mouth of God in the Church.

Symeon connexed the sacramental forgiveness with the forgiveness of sins through ascesis and through the sight of God.

In the Epistle 2, Symeon debuted with a discussion concerning at epithymias, at the practical canons given the penitents.

In the face of sacramental confession, says him, must not to despair from the cause of the crowd of personal sins, but neither to have a thoughtless boldness, ie on the one to expect the forgiveness of proper sins only for that have fulfilled us the canon given by confessor[2].

The forgiveness does not come only for the formal fulfillment of canon, but through the entrance in the quotidian circuit of repentance, where repentance become our daily work[3].

Giving the examples of repentance of Saints David, Manasseh and Peter, Symeon concludes, that these „have received the forgiveness only from the repentance, the crush and the puncture of their [heart] and from the tears which they have shed from the deep of their soul and from the condemnation of their conscience”[4].

Therefore, says he, „the forgiveness of each sins does not make from his works, as does not boast someone [Eph. 2, 9], but from the love of God and from grace[5].

Our Father does not approach the confession only from the prism of the confession of sins and of the receiving of blessing and of priestly absolution, but he debates the ghostual fund of forgiveness, ie the direct action of God in the forgiveness of our sins.

If, often, the Mystery of Confession is looked from bottom to top, from the forgiveness through confessor, which presuppose the concomitant forgiveness from part of God, Symeon looked the forgiveness of sins from top to bottom, ie from the presence of God’s grace in the one that confesses, on the measure of his repentance, which is followed of the absolution of sins, sacramental, through confessor.

More briefly, Symeon asks to feel the direct forgiveness of God through repentance and then to come to receive the absolution of sins in the Mystery of Holy Confession, refelt as a full forgiveness and as a union with Christ, as living member of the Church.

Thus the ascesis and the repentance precede, accompany and continue the state of liberation of under the weight of the sins and of ghostual joy, ie the state initiated by the sacramental absolution of sins, which integrates it in the quotidian ghostual life.

The repentance asks the unreturn at the committed sins, says Symeon, ie a continuous ascesis, a continuous guarding as to live in the will of God[6] and the full forgiveness, refelt plenary in our being, is that, when we have arrived to hate in us the sin in perfect mode, ie then when strengthen us in those good and we have made strong through the different attempts of our life[7].

Our rupture from sins[8], how says Symeon, is the target of frequent confession of proper mistakes and, through it, what and through the frequent impartation, we come to cleanse us and to sanctify us in full mode our being.

For Symeon, as we have seen, the full forgiveness has a double aspect: the feeling of grace and of forgiveness from part of God through repentance, direct connexed with the feeling of sacramental forgiveness of sins and through looking of epithymias as stable exercise in the perimeter of repentance.

Symeon do not undermine the trust in the legal cheirotonia of Church and nor in the Mystery of Holy Confession, but, on the contrary, as priest of the Church and experiencing of the Ghost, who saw how is cheirotoned by the Ghost through the hand of bishop, Symeon asks from all holy life, ie the experience of the Ghost, for to serve and to feel the grace of the Holy Mysteries and services of the Church.


In conclusion, Symeon is not a destabilizing of the hierarchical order from the Church, he does not instigate at the democratization of priesthood and at the elimination of hierarchical sacramental steps, but he shows that, in the lack of charismatic hierarchy, which should serve the Mysteries of the Church and be lightened by the Ghost at every step, God, and not Symeon, has given those who live holy, which are or not in clergy, to continue to lead on men, in accurate mode, at the life of holiness, through ascesis and the receiving of the Holy Ghost into consciousness.

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

[2] Idem, II, apud Idem, p. 318.

[3] Ibidem, apud Ibidem.

[4] Idem, II, apud Idem, p. 319.

[5] Ibidem, apud Ibidem.

[6] Ibidem, apud Ibidem.

[7] Idem, II, apud Idem, p. 321.

[8] Idem, II, apud Idem, p. 322.

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