The Sight of God in the Theology of Saint Symeon the New Theologian [45]

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, 41, 42, 43, 44.

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The light that comes from above and that springs in our being as a sun it does not want to leave us on earth, but hangs us, through the longing for God, at the light of the Trinity.

The light springs in us for that to burn us for longing and wants that us to keep in our being all what is shown to us in ecstasy, all that immensity and amazing wealth of divine light[1].

The sight of light is but a spare of us by God[2].

When God has mercy on someone – and not when we consider that we must have mercy – „[then], suddenly, after how I saw Him shining before my face, thus I see Him shining utterly in me and utterly fills me with all joy, of all fullness of desire and most divine sweetness, on me, the humble [His servant]”[3].

From the confession of Saint Symeon results the fact that Christ, the One full of glory, which the Disciples saw Him in outside of their body, he, and all who see the divine light, they see Him in plenary mode, full of the Ghost, in themselves.

Christ’s ascension into heaven and the Descent of Holy Ghost to those who expected the fulfillment of the promise is in fact „a presence of depth and of spiritual elevation”[4]of Christin those and in our being.

The sight of Christ’s glory or the indwelling of Trinity’s light in us is what that fulfills us and perfects us and this dwelling is real and acknowledged by us.

About the sight Symeon says that it is a capital event, defining, in our being: „the transformation/ [our] change is evident, is a foreign change. Which what is made perfect in me and hit me [on me] is unspeakable.

For that, if would see someone that sun dwelt [in us], that with all [how we see], we see entering in heart, and living in us in entirety and shining also [in  entirely], would not be dead from cause of the miracle and should not become speechless and [once with he] and all those who meet the man who lived it?”[5].

The divine light produces a radical change in our being, a foreign one from our daily experience. After that we will not ever be the ones before, whatever we do.

The sight of light means our acceptance by God in the communion of His divine life. It is a crossing over our earthly condition, for that we get „the divine glory” [6] and we enrich „from Himself the Source of living forever”[7].

And this is possible, for that „the sight of the divine light does not depend however only of his spreading through the body of Christ, but and of the voluntary opening for it of the human persons”[8], how said Father Professor Dumitru Stăniloae.

In the Hymn 7, the sun shines in the heart of Symeon in immaterial mode (a;u>lwj)[9] and he wants the light for that to compose hymns of thanks to his Father, Saint Symeon the Pious[10].

The doxological function of ecstatic experience is combined with experimentation of the relation with God as longing, as desire always ardent for to see Him.

At Symeon the longing for God is po,noj[11], is suffering, pain, acute weight of its entire innerness.

Just for this symeonian’s ascesis is not, more chosen, one of borne of the physical burdens, but rather of the intensity of feeling, of education in inner waiting of the divine mercy, of borne of the exigencies of faith and of longing for God.

[1] SC 156, Hymns, VIII, 56-57, p. 218 / Ică jr. 3, p. 71.

[2] Idem, Hymns, VIII, 62, p. 218 / Ibidem.

[3] Idem, Hymns, VIII, 63-66, p. 218-220 / Ibidem.

[4] Acc. Rev. Prof. D.Th. Dumitru Stăniloae, Orthodox Dogmatic Theology [Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă], ed. II, vol. 2, ed. cit., p. 122-123.

[5] SC 156, Hymns, VIII, 67-73, p. 220 / Ică jr. 3, p. 71.

[6] Idem, Hymns, VIII, 93, p. 222 / Idem, p. 72.

[7] Idem, Hymns, VIII, 97, p. 222 / Ibidem.

[8] Rev. Prof. D.Th. Dumitru Stăniloae, The Personal Relation with Christ in the Light of Divine Infinity, after Saint Symeon the New Theologian [Legătura personală cu Hristos în lumina infinităţii dumnezeieşti, după Sfântul Simeon Noul Teolog], in Orthodox Dogmatic Theology Studies [Studii de teologie dogmatică ortodoxă], op. cit., p. 315.

[9] SC 156, Hymns, VII, 3-4, p. 208 / Ică jr. 3, p. 68.

[10] Idem, Hymns, VII, 7-9, p. 208 / Ibidem.

[11] Idem, Hymns, VII, 17, p. 210 / Ibidem.

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