The Sight of God in the Theology of Saint Symeon the New Theologian [20]

Here, parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19.

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2. 3. The Sight of the Christ’s Glory and the Path of Deification

We could tell from the beginning, anterior of the laborious textual analysis, that the relation of Saint Symeon with Christ is the central theme of his theology, where pass on, in abrupt mode, to the theology of glory. This thing becomes evident even if we do only a frugal reading of his work.

The person of Christ is one that absorbs the full attention of Symeon and Symeon speaks with Christ and about Him, seeing Him both personally, in his being, but, in the same time, and objectively, as the Pantocrator, the one Who keeps all and is the interior foundation of all creation visible and invisible.

The personal reporting and, in the same time, objective, realistic of Symeon at the person of Christ is the deepest experience and knowledge of his life.

This thing we want to emphasize from good beginning, for that not to by considered the communion of Symeon with Christ right a reality of the domain of the strict subjectivity, which has nothing to do with Christ as the real person, objective, Who is the Head of the Church and the Almighty, the Pantocrator of the entire existence.

The centrality of the Christ’s person in the theology of Saint Symeon does not start from the fact that our Father has an exclusive initiation, of the textual type in the christology of the Scripture and of the anterior Fathers, but because Symeon saw the glory and the beauty of Christ in ecstatic mode.

The Christ of Symeon is the Christ of the Church, Who is above all, but He is the Lord of his life in the same time, with Who he is in communion, until he no longer live, but Christ lived in Symeon.

We present in this section the mystical economy of Christ, about Who Symeon speaks to us, the continuous miracle that happens with those who deify themselves and, in the frame which, each relives, in personal mode, the whole economy of salvation experienced by Christ in His humanity.


2. 3. 1. Birth of Christ in the Personal Experience


The Ethical Discourse 5 attacks a thorny problem for every generation of believers and theologians, who poste regarding the Sacraments and the mystical experience on the field of the personal unconnection, by grace, at the Gods life.

Saint Symeon discusses here the false orthodox attitude of those who say, that they have the Ghost of God in unknown/ unconscious (avgnw,stwj)[1] face, Whom they received from their Baptism, but that they have no an interior evidence of His by sight (qewri,a|) and revelation (avpokalu,yei), but received Him and keep Him in them only by faith (pi,stei) and thought (logismw/|)[2], ie by the interior attitude that does not touch at all the ecstatic experience of the glory.

Symeon dismounted step by step the affirmations of his opponents, that, after how is observed, they had an intellectualist relation and not a graceal one with God.

Commenting on Gal. 3, 27 (the verse from which Symeon begins his theological contraoffensive), our Father says that Christ, the One with that we dress us in Baptism (a real, mysterious dressing), being the true God and the true man,  came to make man god through His divinity[3].

Our deification, emphasizes Symeon, is produced by the deified body (dia. th/j qewqei,shj zwopoiei/) of Christ and through this we do not know Christ as man, but as perfect God known in two natures[4].

The deification (qeopoio,n) of man is a reality for all ages, because Christ divinizes us „by His divinity and not just by His body[5].

According to the christological dogma, where the person of Christ is not divided because of the two natures of His hypostasis[6], Symeon punctuate without right at appeal, that we have clothed in Baptism with God, with Christ God and that the dressing with God was felt by our being[7].

If we say that the dressing with God is a metaphor, resulting by the symeonian syllogism, that Holy Baptism is not a Holy Mystery, but a symbol. Those who do not feel that Christ is in them, although they were baptized orthodox, are for Symeon nekroi. kai. gumnoi., namely dead and naked[8].

The dressing in Christ is for Symeon the first part of the equation of our spiritual birth.

Binding to the famous pnevmatological text from I Thess. 5, 19, Simeon says that the address of this verse are those who have lampa.dan, the candle / the torch[9], that „kaiome,nhj kai. avstra,pton evcou,shj to. fw/j” (burns and has a bright light)[10].

[1] SC 129, The Ethical Discourses, V, 1, p. 78 / Ică jr. 1, p. 247.

[2] Idem, The Ethical Discourses, V, 2-13, p. 78-80 / Idem, p. 247-248.

[3] Idem, The Ethical Discourses, V, 14-35, p. 80-82 / Idem, p. 248.

[4] Idem, The Ethical Discourses, V, 38-41, p. 82 / Idem, p. 249.

[5] Idem, The Ethical Discourses, V, 58-59, p. 84 / Ibidem.

[6] Idem, The Ethical Discourses, V, 59, p. 84 / Ibidem.

[7] Idem, The Ethical Discourses, V, 59-68, p. 84 / Ibidem.

[8] Idem, The Ethical Discourses, V, 72-73, p. 84 / Idem, p. 250.

[9] Idem, The Ethical Discourses, V, 78, p. 84 / Ibidem.

[10] Idem, The Ethical Discourses, V, 80, p. 86 / Ibidem.

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