The Sight of God in the Theology of Saint Symeon the New Theologian [26]

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.

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2. 4. The Holy Ghost and the Sight of the Divine Glory

Although Saint Symeon is the Theologian of the Trinity and he never sees a divine person as being separated from the other two, though we find in his theology a rich pnevmatology, as we have found a rich christology applied in the frame of the personal salvation, but unsystematic presented.

The energetics presence of the Ghost in his being is amply discussed, because the Holy Ghost is the One who lifts us to sight, at the divine light, the light which is, in fact, the grace of the Trinity.

But at Symeon, Christ is the backbone of the entire spiritual life and the person of the Holy Ghost is never seen as separated from Christ, but where is Christ is and the Ghost present or Christ is seen through His Holy Ghost by the believer.

In this section of our work, we will present various hypostasises of the symeonian theology, where the person of the Holy Ghost is presented as directly related with the spiritual knowledge and with the sight of the divine glory.


2. 4. 1.  The Holy Ghost, True Faith and Experience of the Grace

The Ethical Discours 10, occasions us a trenchant discussion about faith and the sight of the divine glory. Saint Symeon has in view here the orthodox christians canonically baptized and not any kind of believers.

Speaking about the sight of the glory of God, he says, „the deity, namely the grace of the Most Holy Ghost, is not shown to anyone, never, without faith (ouvdeni. ouvde,pote di,ca pi,stewj pefane,rwtai); and if it shows, however, by a man, in paradoxical face, it shows frightening and fearful (fobera. kai. frikth.), not illuminating, but burning, not being alive, but frightening punishing[1].

The exemplification that brings Saint Symeon, at this affirmation entirely true, is the case of Saint Paul, who, on the road to Damascus lost its natural light of the eyes then, when he saw the glory of Christ[2].

Saint Paul, concludes in his argumentation Saint Symeon, „could not see the slightest brightness (ouvde. mikra.n avpaugh.n)”[3] of the Christ’s glory on the road to Damascus. The unbelief of Paul is for him the sure indication, that only believers see God’s glory, as a lighting and holiness of their being.

For this reason he says further, that „for those who are still in unbelief (th/| avpisti,a|) and are mastered by passions (toi/j pa,qesi katecome,noij), the grace is completely unapproachable and unseen[4].

Symeon does not indicates here the unbelief that state of non-membership to the Orthodox Church, but as full non-attachment to God. The unbelief of a believer is shown in that, he does not come off fully of his passions and he is not looking to see the glory of the Trinity, which is to sanctify him and to deificate him in integral mode.

Without the purity of heart and without the fulfillment of the divine commandments, we can not be enlightened in continuous mode[5].

Commenting Jam. 2, 17, Symeon shows that the fulfillment of the commandments or what we call good deeds must to set us up into a pressed evidence, clear, into an evidence of our faith[6].

The faith and our deeds must be concordant. Thus says Symeon: „those who confess that Christ is God, but they do not keep His commandments, they will be considered not only those who reject Him (avrnou,menoi), but and that those who dishonor Him (avtima,zontej)”[7].

The faith that manifests itself by facts is it that receives the experience of the Ghost.

[1] SC 129, The Ethical Discourses, X, 88-92, p. 264-266 / Ică jr. 1, p. 325.

[2] Idem, The Ethical Discourses, X, 92-97, p. 266 / Ibidem.

[3] Idem, The Ethical Discourses, X, 102-103, p. 266 / Ibidem.

[4] Idem, The Ethical Discourses, X, 104-106, p. 266 / Ibidem.

[5] Idem, The Ethical Discourses, X, 111, p. 266 / Ibidem.

[6] Idem, The Ethical Discourses, X, 201-202, p. 274 / Idem, p. 328.

[7] Idem, The Ethical Discourses, X, 202-205, p. 274 / Ibidem.

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