The Sight of God in the Theology of Saint Symeon the New Theologian [41]

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, 39, 40.

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Two of his disciples see Symeon in mystical situations. Symeon from Ephesus, the Ephesian, sees him during the Divine Liturgy dressed in patriarchal vestment [patriarcikh.n stolh.n][1], sign that Symeon could be ordained whenever as patriarch of Constantinople, as long as God allowed this thing and Meletius, tonsured as a monk by Symeon, he confesses to Niketas:

„Often I saw a bright cloud [nefe,lh fwtinh.n] covering him whole, when he stood in altar during Holy before putting. And, on right word, for those who are distinguished through the height of virtues, they are worthy and of the divine glory[2].

Niketas demonstrated by this witnesses that not only Symeon confessed himself that he sees the light of God, but and other spiritual people, from around him, ascertained the presence of the Ghost in his being.

Symeon could not hide, could not hide the amazing spiritual increase, for that the Holy Ghost Himself was the One who gave him away and which confessed him as holy man in front of disciples, of friends and of his hierarchical superiors and of the people that listen him.

But Niketas is still doing something essential in mystical biography of Symeon.

He shows that the bright cloud or the glory of Trinity that was seen on Sinai, on Tabor, at the bank of the Jordan or in way to Damascus and in island Patmos were not ecstatic unrepeatable evidences in the economy of salvation, but the presence of the Ghost is quotidian in the life of those who sanctify themselves, anytime they live and wherever they are on the face of the earth.

The sight of the light not keeps of place, of the historical moment, of social or ecclesial rank, of age, of gender, of ethnicity or financial situation of the believer, but of his inner purity, the holiness of his person, which is the only requirement for that the Lord reveals to us His light.

Just therefore Meletius sees Symeon covered by the bright cloud of glory the Godhead and Niketas says that he was like fire, like an Angel when he served.

Everyone perceives Symeon, the full of the Ghost, on measure his spiritual growth and each of them Symeon showed them into an apart mode.

In the 36th chapter, we have described another ecstasy of Symeon spent the night. It has a special character from cause the charisma that he received it in behind it.

Niketas describes the ecstasy in the following terms: „This being, therefore, the work that the brave one had it in hidden in every day, into a night, while he stood and offered his prayers to the Lord, he saw a vision and, behold!, a bright cloud [nefe,lh fwto.j] descending from heaven through the roof of house was placed over his honorable head and, covering it whole for a lot of watches, it filled by a very ardent pleasure and untold and by a joyousness and a cheerfulness impossible to said, and from there he heard and a mystic voice [mustikh/j fwnh/j] that taught him foreign mysteries [xe,na musth,ria] and hidden [kekrumme,na].

Therefore, even and when this cloud has been lifted, he found his heart in God’s wisdom [sofi,a| Qeou/] sheding the waters of the divine grace.

And then he had not been himself, but the grace of God pulled him whole to Himself and it made from his tongue a reed what writes sharp [Ps. 44, 1] and from his thought a fountain of the wisdom of God [Bar. 3, 12].

Therefore, although he was with all unlearned in the teachings of the outside [avmaqh.j w;n pa,nth tw/n qu,raqen maqhma,twn], he theologized [evqeolo,gei] like the Beloved and the entire nights he traversed, in order, those of theology [th/j qeologi,aj o]laij]”[3], for that „he was worthy by the apostolic gift, saying the word of the teaching [avpostolukh/j avxiwqei.j dwrei/aj, tou/ lo,gou th/j didaskali,aj fhmi,]”[4], as an organ of the Ghost[5].

During this ecstasy, Symeon receives the charisma of the theology. Now Symeon is taught by God, in mystic mode, the dogmas of faith and Symeon feels himself taken in posesion, inhabited, mastered by the Holy Ghost, Who teaches him all.

[1] OC 12, IV, 33, 14-19, p. 44 / Life, ed. Iliescu, p. 48 / Ică jr. 4, p. 265-266.

[2] Idem, IV, 33, 19-23, p. 44 / Ibidem / Idem, p. 266.

[3] Idem, V, 36, 1-15, p. 48 / Idem, p. 51-52 / Idem, p. 267-268.

[4] Idem, V, 37, 9-10, p. 50 / Idem, p. 52 / Idem, p. 268.

[5] Idem, V, 37, 10-11, p. 50 / Ibidem / Ibidem.

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