The Sight of God in the Theology of Saint Symeon the New Theologian [84]

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, 83.


2. 6. 4. The Holy Matrimony and the Holy Priesthood as Sacramental Paradigms of Union with God

We wanted a synchronous discussion of the two Holy Mysteries for to highlight their role paradigmatic for the union with God[1].

If in the case of matrimony, the interior unity of those two grooms is analogous to the union between Christ and the Church and it presupposes as foundation the personal union with God of each of them, in the frame of cheirotonia, the man who receives the grace of the priesthood and unites in direct mode with God, from Which he receives the divine grace, he makes, into consciousness, the servant of God in the Church and the intercessor to God of the speaking flock entrusted himself.

These two fundamental ideas are processed by Symeon in his sacramentological theology into a personal mode and very expressive.

Thus, in the Hymn 27, Saint Symeon puts in relation on the monk seer of God with the married man, for to show the real mode of union between the believer and God: „who has made from his cell  heaven through virtue, that one understands and sees Him sitting in it on the Creator of heaven and of earth, to Whom he worships and coexists always together with the unbygone light, with the unevening light and with the unapproachable light, of which it does not separate noway [u udamos horizete], of which it does not depart at all neither the day, nor the night, nor when eating, nor when drink, nor in sleep, nor on the road or when he changes the place.

But so how he lives, so and he dies or, still and more limpid, he coexists everlasting together with Him, with the soul.

For, how will be disparted the bride to bridegroom or the husband to his wife, with which has harmonized [sinirmosti] once for always? Tell me, the Legislator does not guard, really, the law?

For the One who said: „And will be the two one body” [Gen. 2, 24; Mat. 19, 5], how not will be in entirety a ghost [I Cor. 6, 17] together with him, [with the soul]? For the woman is in man and the man in woman, and the soul is in God and God in soul and so He unites and He is known in all the Saints [enute che gnorizete en tis Aghiis pasin]”[2].

The seer of light is always together with the light, for that it is not seen in outside of him, but inside of him and his displacement through cell or in outside of it does not disturb the presence of light from him, for that no the physical movement or the walk take us off from the living relation with God, but the sin.

The union of the seer of God with the light is an interior harmonization with it, after how the marital relation between the two is a reciprocal inwardization.

If the marital union forms a single body from the two, ie it makes on the two not to have a singular mode of life, but common, in which both partners assume, deepen and bearing interior one another, all the same, says Saint Symeon, is and the union of the seer of God with the divine light, in which he is seized by light and he carries it in himself, on measure what is worn of exhortations to holiness, to full purity, coming from the part of  light.

The husband carries his wife in himself, for that he carries in himself all the love, the respect and all the prayer of the everlasting fulfillment for his wife, ie her face, her relation with him, after how the ghostualized carries in himself the light of God, carries in himself on God through His glory,  into a beingly union with himself, in which he has  deepened step with step, through holiness.

Through this illustrative annexation, Symeon does not propel the sight of God only in monachal life, depriving thus of it on laymans, but he puts in analogy the ghostualized monk and the married couple, for to show the abyssal communional dimension of the relation between man and God and of the relation of love existent in the married couple.

Symeon ends the passage quoted with the underlining of real union of Saints with God, of rhythmation of their life with the glory of God, the interior rhythmation, which is refound and in the married couple and in which the couple can increase, fitting to the grace of ghostual love and of fidelity between them received in the Holy Mystery of Matrimony.

Symeon does not speak about any couple and neither not presuppose, that can be done a real rhythmation, ghostual, of the two, without the grace of God.  He envisages the ghostual marriage, the real orthodox marriage, in which the two are ghostual humans and which increase in conscious  mode in the union with God and in the interior union between them and between them and their sons.

In the ethical Discourse 1, Symeon will reset in discussion the interior union, the relation, extreme of deep, of the married couple, into a christological context and ecclesiological communional:

 „That one, [Christ], taught that the union which He has with His Father, on the one we have it and us in similar face with Him, and the disciple and His Apostle said that it is as the union which the man has with his wife and the woman with her ​​husband. […]

And wanting to show in overwhelming face our union with God, he continues saying: „For this – ie for Christ – will leave the man on his father and on his mother, and will cleave to his wife, ie of Church, „and will be both one body” [Eph. 5, 31], ie that of Christ and God.

And that this is the meaning of the word and we do not speak these starting from reasonings, same [Apostle] adds and says:

„This mystery great is, and I speak about Christ and about Church” [Eph. 5, 32]. With true, so, great and beyond than great is and will be the mystery this, for that the union and the communion, the intimacy, the kinship which the woman has it with her ​​husband and the man with his wife, same, in worthy face of God and beyond any thought and word, has it the Master and the Maker of all with entire Church, as and with a single woman, uniting with her in taintless face and beyond unspeakable, being and conliving with her in inseparable face and indissoluble, as loved one and embraced by Him”[3].

Thus, on the one part, Symeon speaks about our mystical union with Christ, which is analogous with the union between the Father and the Son and, on the other part, he speaks about the communion of ghostualized marital couple, which is analogous of the mystical union, extrem of deep and of perplexing, of God with us.

Synthesizing the double symeonian analogy we arrive at the paradigm of the real union between God and man, which is possible only on the basis of creational conformity of man with God.

[1] Father Alexandru Joiţa, into an article about the Holy Ghost, substantiating on a relevant quote, we believe, from the Panarion of Saint Epiphanius, affirms that: „The Mystery of Priesthood is equivalent, in spiritual plan, of the Mystery of Matrimony”, acc. Rev. PhD student Alexandru Joiţa, The Sanctifying Work of the Holy Ghost in the Church [Lucrarea sfinţitoare a Sfântului Duh în Biserică], in Theological Studies [Studii Teologice] XXXII (1980), no. 7-10, p. 646.

For that in the frame of matrimony the couple beget sons and educates them, says this, in the frame of cheirotonia, the bishop is the one who gives birth at fathers and the ghostual fathers, the priests, are the ones who give birth at ghostual sons, acc. Ibidem.

[2] SC 174, Hymns, XXVII, 39-56, p. 282 / Ică jr. 3, p. 168.

[3] SC 122, The Ethical Discourses, I, 6, 118-121, 144-162, p. 232, 234 / Ică jr. 1, p. 135, 136.

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