The Sight of God in the Theology of Saint Symeon the New Theologian [13]

Here, parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12.

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Retaking the discussion about cause in Trinity, Symeon affirms the fact, that the idea of  cause should not be interpreted as a primacy of the Father towards the Son or the Ghost.

Although the Father is ai;tion, the cause of the Son, He is not prw/ton, the first. Neither the Son is deu,teron, the second, although He is from the Father. Nor the Ghost is a third, a tri,ton, although He proceeds from the Father[1].

Trinity is one from the beginning (e;n evx avrchj) and Her existence excludes any anteriority[2].

Symeon believes that is not a boldness to analyze those about God, about the trinitarian God into Whom we have been baptized. We must know that God is Trinity[3], but we do not examine „how or when or wherewith or how is Trinity the creator of all”[4].

By this Symeon discourages the proud, haughty research  of the knowledge of God, which proposes to inventory problems that not related by the Sacred Tradition, but a gnostified speculation of the theological research.

In the second discourse, Symeon draws attention that the triadology does not occupy with the research of God’s being[5].

The discussion about fu,sij (nature) and ouvsi,a (being) does not have the revelational covering. But the discussion about the persons of Trinity can emphasize to us the truth, that the Father „gives birth in the timeless and eternal face to the Son the one-being, Which [Son] in noway doesn’t leave Him, and together with Which, together-proceeds and the divine Ghost from the Father the one-being and Which [Ghost] is the one-being with the Son”[6].

His assertion excludes any temporalisation of the persons of the Trinity, any interval between the birth of the Son from the Father and the procession of the Holy Ghost from the Father and shows the eternal communion between the trinitarian persons, Which have in common, in perichoretic mode, the same being of the Godhead.

Debating the parallelism between the image of God in man and the Trinity, Saint Symeon affirms that the Father can not be without the Son and the Ghost[7].

For we confess in orthodox mode about Trinity, says Symeon, we must say that the Father gives birth to the Son but He did not pre-existed the Son, that the Son is begotten of the Father but without to be posterior to the Father and that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father, but is co-eternal and the onebeing with the Son and with the Father[8].

The symeonian triadology focuses in the second theological discourse, primarily, on the attestation of the Trinity’s unity.

Who denies a person from Trinity or talks about her in unrevelational mode abolishes the Trinity[9]. The God Father was made known to us by the Son and His Ghost and those of the Holy Ghost we have learned from the Father and the Son, co-eternal with Him[10].

All three persons of Deity have one and the same will[11], stresses Symeon. This thing is capital in our relation with Trinity, because we receive the grace of the Trinity and see His glory and not a substitute of His presence.

Our relation with God is an impartation of His glory but the reality of it is not understood for all creation[12]. The God’s being is for us avpro,siton and avkatano,hton, unapproachable and not understood[13]. Therefore the Holy Scripture says about God only that He exists but not and how is He[14].

At the end of the second discourse, Symeon says that, although we can not see the being of God, if we see „the unapproachable glory of His divine light and endless”, we have seen God[15]. The sight of the Trinity’s glory makes us to have God in us, Who speaks and introduces us into His mysteries those hidden[16].

[1] SC 122, The Theological Discourses, I, 124-126, p. 106 / Ică jr. 1, p. 79.

[2] Idem, The Theological Discourses, I, 126-129, p. 106 / Ibidem.

About the problem of the non-anteriority in Trinity to see and Idem, The Theological Discourses, I, 131-138, p. 106; I, 236-237, p. 114; II, 68-69, p. 134; II, 100-101, p. 138.

[3] Idem, The Theological Discourses, I, 240-246, p. 114 / Idem, p. 83.

[4] Idem, The Theological Discourses, I, 246-247, p. 114 / Ibidem.

[5] Idem, The Theological Discourses, II, 53-55, p. 134 / Idem, p. 92.

[6] Idem, The Theological Discourses, II, 81-84, p. 136 / Idem, p. 92-93.

[7] Idem, The Theological Discourses, II, 105-108, p. 138 / Idem, p. 93.

[8] Idem, The Theological Discourses, II, 108-111, p. 138 / Ibidem.

[9] Idem, The Theological Discourses, II, 167-170, p. 142 / Idem, p. 95.

[10] Idem, The Theological Discourses, II, 187-190, p. 144 / Idem, p. 96.

[11] Idem, The Theological Discourses, II, 205-209, p. 144 / Ibidem.

[12] Idem, The Theological Discourses, II, 242-246, p. 148 / Idem, p. 98.

[13] Idem, The Theological Discourses, II, 250-251, p. 148 / Ibidem.

[14] Idem, The Theological Discourses, II, 257-259, p. 148 / Ibidem.

[15] Idem, The Theological Discourses, II, 297-299, p. 152 /  Idem, p. 100.

[16] Idem, The Theological Discourses, II, 300-303, p. 152 / Ibidem.

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