The Sight of God in the Theology of Saint Symeon the New Theologian [39]

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.

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The end of the 23rd section narrates the fact, that Symeon wrote that letter to his father in ecstatic mode, being in light, because God guided his hand to write[1].

Niketas uses the expression „dictated from above”[th.n a;nwqen r`hqei/san] for that to remind us the detail, that the express revelation of truths, in written form, is not a singular thing but it is refind at Saints of Scripture and in the lives of many Saints of the Church.

The light of God made again for Symeon a day without evening in the middle of the night and Symeon writes those whom God speaks to him, being surrounded by divine light.

After his entry into monasticism, our Father lived a life of „an extreme purity”[a;kron evkkaqarqe,nti][2].

In III, 24, Niketas says that Saint Symeon „became entire attention, entire full of the warmth of the Ghost, entire full of divine revelations and enlightenments [qei,wn avpokalu,yewn kai. evlla,myewn]”[3].

From here on neither Nikita and nor us can no longer have an inventory, however probabilistic, of the symeonian ecstasies.

Of III, 26 results that the divine sight it becomes quotidian Saint Symeon shortly after what he became a monk.

About this quotidianness of the sight of the light, Saint Niketas writes: „From this reason and before all, gathering himself the whole from the ones from outside, he stood at prayer.

And, at the beginning of the day, as the one unharmed [by anything], was ravished [a`rpa,zwn] up his mind and he united [suggino,menoj], in immaterial mode, with the God the One immaterial, he did not have the thinking attracted of no care, nor divided in senses.

For the Divine Himself, before his prayers, take it soon and enveloped it the mind of his soul in His natural/ proper   light [tw|/ evmfu,tw| fwti.] and it melted the earthly from it, filling it by the warmth of the Ghost and the heart by all joyousness[4].

Saint Symeon united with the light still before at morning prayer, at when he woke and it, the light, removed from his soul every thought and earthly stain.

Niketas accentuated the role of the light in the life of Symeon from that, that it makes him daily with an immaterial mind, abstracted from all care and earthly reality.

But we have at Niketas and a trenchant emphasis of the fact that divine light, which saw Symeon, it is proper of God, that it is of His, that it is something natural for God, it is proper Himself.

Life together with God excludes any impurity and bodily care. The spiritual life is an immaterial life, lived in the light, lived as continues union with divine light.

The end of the 27th chapter shows us the nights full of grace of Symeon, in which he saw himself „sometimes, coming out of himself, through divine contemplations and he united, in  mystic face, with God[5].

From IV, 29, 1, we find that this quotidian filling with light of Symeon happened in the two years of monasticism, which preceded the moment of his ordination into priest[6].

In IV, 30, the chapter dedicated of his ordination, Niketas says, that Symeon, „the seer of the frightening visions, that he contemplated with eyes of Cherub”[7], received the priesthood after much interior resistance[8].

In the moment of ordination, „when the most-wise Symeon was made priest by the bishop, and he said prayer over him, and he had the knee and the head bowed in the face of the Mystery, he saw a vision and, behold!, the Holy Ghost descending in the face of infinite light, simple and formless [avpei,rou fwto.j avplou/n kai. avnei,deon], it covered his most-holy head, [Ghost] Whom, in the 48 years of priesthood, he saw Him descending [katerco,menon] over the Holy Sacrifice, brought by him to God, [after] how he himself said to someone, hiding himself, as and how he spoke about another one and [it] is written in his sayings”[9].

[1] OC 12, III, 23, 17-20, p. 32-34 / Life, ed. Iliescu, p. 38 / Ică jr. 4, p. 260.

[2] Idem, III, 25, 1-2, p. 34 / Idem, p. 39 / Idem, p. 260.

[3] Idem, III, 26, 3-5, p. 36 / Idem, p. 40 / Idem, p. 261.

[4] Idem, III, 26, 11-18, p. 36 / Idem, p. 40-41 / Ibidem.

[5] Idem, III, 27, 14-15, p. 38 / Idem, p. 42 / Idem, p. 262.

[6] Idem, IV, 29, 1, p. 40 / Idem, p. 44 / Ibidem.

[7] Idem, IV, 30, 12-13, p. 40-42 / Idem, p. 45 / Idem, p. 263.

[8] Idem, IV, 30, 6-7, p. 40 / Ibidem / Ibidem.

[9] Idem, IV, 30, 13-21, p. 42 / Idem, p. 45-46 / Idem, p. 263-264.

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