The Sight of God in the Theology of Saint Symeon the New Theologian [53]

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, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52.

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But Symeon goes far with the string like endless of his confessions and presents his reception, of the one who is filled with holiness, by those who have nothing to do with holiness:

„And if they hear about someone that fought in lawful manner in the commandments of God, that he has been humbled with heart and with thoughts, that he was purged from all kinds of passions and he proclaimed to all the great things of God [ta. megalei/a tou/ Qeou/] – namely how God made ​​them for him, according to His non-lying promises and how, then when he spoke to the benefit of those who heard him, he said that he was able to see the light of God and God in light of the glory [kathxiw,qh fw/j ivdei/n Qeou/ kai. Qeo.n evn fwti. do,xhj], and how he knew in conscious face in himself the quotidian coming and the work of the Holy Ghost [th.n evpifoi,thsin kai. evne,rgeian tou/ `Agi,ou Pneu,matoj] and he has done Saint in the Holy Ghost [ [[Agioj evn  `Agi,w| Pneu,mati ge,gonen] – immediately, as some rabid dogs [ku,nej lussw/tej] they bark against him and rush to eat him, if is with possible, the one who says these”[1].

The road to holiness begins with true faith, with the whole process of cleaning the passions and with personal revelations of the light and of the divine mysteries from part of God.

The ferociousness of his opponents contrasts totally with his complete entrusting on own holiness, given by the presence of light in his being.

In measure in that Symeon would be talking without probations guaranteed to him by God, without distinction which brings the light in us, his opponents would have been legitimate to challenge, but without to transform in some dogs ready to tear a man who speaks to them in peaceful mode.

But then when Symon gives details, when he brings  guarantees over guarantees about the wonders of Gods mercy to himself, his opponents were fighting not only with Symeon, but, in the first row, with God, Who makes all those promised by Him in those who purify their life by passions.

The fight of theological’s opponents of Simeon’s was a struggle with the Holy Ghost, namely with One by whom Symeon spoke.

And in Hymns we find the identification of salvation with the holiness.

In the Hymn 34, into an apologetic context, Symeon  said: „Who would have called Saint [ever] if he not would be imparted by the Holy Ghost?” [h; ti,j evklh,qh [Agioj mh. metascw.n  vAgi,ou Pneu,matoj;][2].

And as Symeon called impartation by the Holy Ghost the ecstatic sight, the Saint is the seer of God, he is one who feels in him the grace of God.

In the Hymn 42, our Father is more direct in the equalization of salvation with holiness.

Speaking of the exclusion of some from the impartation of Holy Mysteries, Symeon switches our attention from what happens with those who not see now the Sacraments, in the Church, at the eschatological plan of the Kingdom of God: „and now sinners are shut out from the Church and are off with all to impart, or, better said, those who are not Saints are deprived even and of the sight the divine [th/j tw/n qei,wn qe,aj avposterou/ntai oi` mh. pe,lontej  [Agioi].

How does, alas!, they will unite then with the too-undefiled  body of God and they shall be members of Christ [I Cor. 6, 15] defiled? There is not such thing, brothers, and will not ever happen!

And those who are separated from the divine body, ie the Church, and the choir elected, where they will go? Tell! In what kingdom, in which place they hope to dwell? Tell me!

For the Paradise and the bosom of Abraham [Lk. 16, 22] and any place of rest is surely of the saved [tw/n sw|zome,nwn]. And the saved are, with safety, all Saints, according as gives witness and teaches whole Divine Scripture [oi` de. sw|zo,menoi, eivsin  [Agioi pa,ntwj pa,ntej, w`j pa/sa Qei,a marturei/ Grafh. kai. evkdida,skei].

For even if there are many (dwelling-places) [Jn. 14, 2], they are but one, ie inside the pantry wedding [tou/ numfw/noj] [Mt. 22, 10].

For as how is a sky and in it the stars are distinguished between them in the honor and glory [I Cor. 15, 41], so is one bridal chamber and a single Kingdom, for the Heaven, the Holy City and every place of rest are only God[3].

In the passage quoted now sees very clear, how the existence in the Church requires a holy life, for that you to be proper the Holy of God, the Holy Communion and holiness is for the saved. And although they differ between them as degree of holiness, they live with all in the same Kingdom.

The Kingdom of God does not presuppose a uniformity of holiness, for that the holiness keeps the person and its uniqueness.

The uniqueness of the relation of the Saint with God means the personal degree of holiness, which God receives such how it is,  as long as is a together-work with Him.

Our Father speaks about salvation as holiness but he does not indicate standards to achieve for to be proper to the Kingdom.

[1] SC 129, The Ethical Discourses, IX, 359-370, p. 246 / Ică jr. 1, p. 317.

[2] SC 174, Hymns, XXXIV, 96-97, p. 434 / Ică jr. 3, p. 205.

[3] SC 196, Hymns, XLII, 151-171, p. 48-50 / Idem, p. 231-232.


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