The Sight of God in the Theology of Saint Symeon the New Theologian [58]

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, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57.


The unceasing prayer of the mind [i adialiptos efhi cata nun] – behold, a new argument of the hesychast experience of Saint Symeon! –  that was the real frame in that he sees the light of God, is accompanied by the sweetness of tears, of the joy of heart and of unspeakable comfort, which lives the spiritual man that lives clean and sees divine light.

The verb calipto, an extension of the root caliv, where comes and calivi [hut][1], indicates us that those who are covered, those parts covered are, of fact, very intimate, very personal for us and are guarded from malicious glances, hostile.

As and the sexual organs, covered from good shame, correct, all the same and the secret things of spiritual life, tells us, with other words, Symeon, are and must be kept in the secret of our hearts, as long as there is not someone who wants to know, with humbleness and longing after the divine truth, those that occur in the deep of being of those who deifies.

The disclosure without attention of the divine discoveries, without discernment, without reporting at auditorium is an act of spiritual indecency, alike to that to expose us the naked body in front of masses of people.

The spiritual exhibitionism, as and the bodily besides, asks persons with that we have a great communion or that binds us a spiritual experience similar as intensity.

All into a christologic-pnevmatological context, in the Hymn 15, Saint Symeon chooses to talk about „the frightening things”[2] of our deification.

These frightening things through their divine beauty and through their greatness non-understood are the consequence of the fact that the Son took flesh and gave us on His Ghost the divine and made ​​us on all His relatives, a single house of David[3].

Besides the fact that we are sperma, the divine [seed] of Christ, and more frightening is, tells us, in pressed mode, our Father, that our Lord is together with us and now and in ages and He lives in all who love Him, being in entirety with us[4].

The adjective olos [integer], followed by a second, of monos [single], make crucial distinctions in 15, 134-136.

Symeon insists on the defining value of the two adjectives for to show that our relation with Christ is integral, without rest and that the mystical relation has not intermediaries but is a relation monon monos, of the single with the One single, with the Single[5].

The integrality of relation with Christ of the believer is a direct result of the integral assumption and of the integral deification of His humanity,  on the one hand and, on the other hand, our communion with Christ realizes through His Ghost, through the sight of the divine light, in direct mode, living only with God and through Him.

Into a natural gradation of the exposure, Symeon announces us things and more shattering than what said so far[6], the fact that „make us members of Christ [I Cor. 6, 15], and Christ makes Himself our members”[7].

With this phrase begins the dilemmatic passage, where Symeon confesses the presence of Christ in every part of our body:

„Christ [makes Himself] my hand, Christ [makes Himself] my foot, of the very-villain, and I, the villain, [make myself] the hand of Christ and foot of Christ.

I move the hand and Christ in entirety is my hand – for, understand me!, is undivided  [ameriston] the divine Godhead –, I move the foot and, behold!, it flashes as He.

Do not say that I blaspheme, but receive these and give worship to Christ, That makes you [se piunti] thus!

For if you want and you [si telisias], you would become and you member of Him, and so all the members every one of us will be members of Christ and Christ our members; and all the indecent He will make them decent [I Cor. 12, 23-24], adorning them with the beauty and the glory of the Godhead, and we will make gods coexisting together with God, no-longer-seeing at all the indecency of the body, but all likening us with Christ through all the body and every member of our will be Christ integer.

For He becoming many, He remains undivided, and each is Christ Himself integer. You recognize so unwrong that Christ is and the finger, indeed and [my sexual] organ [valanon] and did you not tremble and were you not ashamed?

For God did not ashamed to make Himself like you, but you are ashamed to make yourself like that One? [Alla Teos si omios uc ishinti gheneste, si de echino omios eshini ghegonene;]

I am not ashamed, say you, to make me  like the One, but when I heard you talking, that the One makes Himself like of the shameful member [tu ashimonos melus], has sneaked me in soul the thought that you say a blasphemy.

–  Evil you think, for these are not shameful [u ashima]. But they are secret/ hidden [cripta]  members of Christ, for they cover and for the fact that they are more honorable than others [I Cor. 12, 23], as secret/ hidden members and unseen by all of the One Mysterious, from That is given the seed [I In. 3, 9] in the divine copulation [ex u to sperma didote en sinusia tia], formed in shattering face in the divine form by the whole Godhead itself, for is God whole He who unites with us [olos Teos gar, os sinenute met’ imon], o, shattering mystery!

And is made, indeed, an ineffable wedding and divine [gamos o arritos che tios]: God unites/ copulates/ mix [mignite] with each of us and – I will say again these – each unites of pleasure with the Master”[8].

To see from this ample quoted text, that Symeon substantiates his theological affirmations on two capital realities: on the integrality of assumption of human nature by God and on the mystical experience of deification.

Christ was not ashamed to take the integer human flesh and to become man, deifying and the human sexual organs but we are ashamed to talk about the integral assumption of the body by Him and we do not want to see how happens and in us this total deification of our body.

For Symeon is not a blasphemy to speak about Lord’s genitality, as long as the problem in cause is seen as transfigured reality, full of light at His Resurrection from the dead.

If the resurrected body of the Lord was full of glory, wants to tell us Symeon and the entire teaching of the Church, then and we will be full of glory, still now, if we deify our whole being.

But it should be emphasized here that our full union with the Lord and His existence in every member of our full of light is a direct consequence of the hypostatic union, for that Symeon speaks about a union of us with the deity of Christ, which is not divided after the number of our members or after the number of people who partake of it.

From this passage is seen very clear the steadfastness of Saint Symeon on the integralist aspect of the assumption of the human body in the hypostasis of the Logos, without which there cannot be the salvation and the deification of believers.

[1] Cf. Liddell-Scott Lexicon, 21632, apud BW 07.

[2] SC 156, Hymns, XV, 115, p. 286 / Ică jr. 3, p. 93.

[3] Idem, Hymns, XV, 122-124, p. 286 / Ibidem.

[4] Idem, Hymns, XV, 129-134, p. 286-288 / Ibidem.

[5] Idem, Hymns, XV, 135, p. 288 / Ibidem.

[6] Idem, Hymns, XV, 140, p. 288 / Ibidem.

[7] Idem, Hymns, XV, 141, p. 288 / Ibidem.

[8] Idem, Hymns, XV, 142-177, p. 288-292 / Idem, p. 93-95.

Praedicationes (vol. 6)

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