The Sight of God in the Theology of Saint Symeon the New Theologian [38]

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.

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If in the two previous ecstasies we had the cloud and the glory, in the third we have part of the image of the fire, of pu/r, which wrapped him.

In II, 19, we have part the fourth ecstatic symeonian experience described by Niketas.

Is by itself meaning that we have another consecution of the symeonian sights, as long as in Koutsas’s edition this the fourth ecstatic place is counted as the second[1] and in Hausherr’s edition they are not supertitles at subchapters.

After an interview with his Father, in which he prophets him an astonishing increase in himself of the grace, Symeon enters in his cell and has place the sight which we denominate as being the 4th[2].

Symeon makes a prolegomenon of the ecstasy, presenting it as rapid help came from part of God[3]. Thus, „the light arose as early morning [prw,i?mon], and, unexpectedly, wrapped him from above a bright light like a lightning [avstraph/|] [acc. Acts 26, 13], which catched his mind, raptured it with all and filled it with a toosweet joyousness[4].

Niketas presents the 4th ecstasy as a rapture of the mind in light, where it is filled with an extraordinary joyousness.

Suddenly the night disappears and the light appears in the life of Saint Symeon as a blinding light of morning, as a luminous lightning, which wrapped him entirely.

While Symeon was with his face at ground in behind of this ecstasy and cried, he saw „a frightening miracle”[5], namely „he saw with the mind a bright cloud [fwtoeidh/ nefe,lhn] falling in entirely over him, producing all the pleasure and sweetness in his soul and it filled him with divine grace reducing to the end the thickness earthly of the fleshly thought”[6].

We have therefore, as and in the case of the ecstasies I and II, an immediate continuity between the ecstasies IV and V.

The light is seen as a lightning but and as a bright cloud, it sanctifies Symeon, in evident mode.

The 6th ecstasy described by Saint Niketas occurs also in the night[7], in the moment when Saint Symeon wanted to write his father and to teach, how to correspond this one with men Saints [a;ndraj `Agi,ouj] and, especially, with Saint Symeon the Pious[8].

Just when Symeon began his letter to his natural father, „suddenly, shone him an infinite light [fw/j a;peiron] from heaven and it tore the roof of his house and filled again the soul of him with a joy and untold pleasure, thus that the immensity of that light, the candlestick [lu,cnon] that lighted – because it was night – was dark with all.

And, behold, as from this divine light came a voice that said: <the Apostle and the disciple of Christ, the mediator and our ambassador at God>”[9].

Putting in antithesis the heavenly light and the light of the candlestick has the role to emphasize the immensity of the divine light which saw Symeon and this ecstasy is a new guarantee from part of God of the holiness of Saint Symeon the Pious, the Father of Saint Symeon.

Symeon, after how we find from III, 24, was not a monk at this data[10]. He was still a novice in the Monastery of Saint Mammas[11].

All 6 ecstasies presented by Niketas are anterior to his monastic life and they had the role to initiate him and to strengthen Symeon in mystical life and, in the same time, to increase his confidence in his Father, in Saint Symeon the Pious.

Symeon enters in the monastic life as a man with a great spiritual enhancement, with a great zeal for holiness and with a steadfast confidence in the holiness of his Father.

God Himself watched this whole interior union of Symeon with his Father and Symeon never abdicated from it.

The whole interior rallying at life of God and the full confidence in his Father were the two major interior coordinates of the New Theologian.

[1] To see the supertitle from II, 19 by Ică jr. 4, p. 257.

[2] OC 12, II, 19, 7-8, p. 28 / Life, ed. Iliescu, p. 34 / Ică jr. 4, p. 257.

[3] Idem, II, 19, 12-13, p. 28 / Ibidem / Ibidem.

[4] Idem, II, 19, 13-16, p. 28 / Ibidem / Ibidem.

[5] Idem, II, 19, 19, p. 29 / Idem, p. 35 / Ibidem.

[6] Idem, II, 19, 20-23, p. 28-30 / Ibidem / Ibidem.

[7] Idem, III, 23, 11, p. 32 / Idem, p. 38 / Idem, p. 259.

[8] Idem, III, 23, 3-6, p. 32 / Ibidem / Ibidem.

[9] Idem, III, 23, 8-13, p. 32 / Ibidem / Ibidem.

[10] Idem, III, 24, 1-4, p. 34 / Ibidem / Idem, p. 260.

[11] Acc. Idem, III, 22, 4, p. 32 / Idem, p. 37 / Idem, p. 258.

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