The Sight of God in the Theology of Saint Symeon the New Theologian [59]

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, 58.


Symeon defends the filling of grace and the deification of human sexual organs of the Lord, after how Saints before him had defended, against Apollinarius toward example, the existence of mind and of human reason in His humanity.

Only if God took and deified every human member we can talk about our real deification.

The soteriological symeonian realism is the soteriological realism of Church from always,  which is based on unspeakable hypostatic interpenetration of deity and of humanity in the person of the incarnate Word and on the abyssal relation, through the Ghost, of Christ with all believers.

Just therefore Symeon insists on the reality of union and of our wedding with God.

When Symeon speaks about sinusia tia or about gamos does not refer at something exterior but at the abyssal relation which the glory of God provokes in our being.

Citing I Jn. 3, 9 and speaking about the seed of God, about the light that gives birth to us as sons of God and that unites us with the trinitarian God, Symeon does not make than an extensive exegesis of the johanneic place.

His entire theological structure is substantiated scriptural and experiential and it can deduces very easy, if we follow the scriptural quotations that appear in his texts as motives of the theological dissertation or as milestones of identification of his own spiritual experiences.

The union, our wedding with God or the sight of His divine light are one and the same reality. The multiplicity of forms in that talking about ecstasy does not want to draw the attention, than on the fact that the nuances of each human characterizations of divine sight represents the unspeakable richness of meanings of the direct experience of the divine sight.

The Scripture and the Fathers,  using diverse examples for to explain us the divine sight tell us in definitive, that it is a reality much too overwhelming that any human example to be able to deplete or to encircle into a mode proper to itself.

The scriptural and theological discourse about the Kingdom of God and about the sight have the role only to increase the longing after their experiencing and do not replace experience as such.

Therefore they are invitations, continuous suggestionarises of our love of God, for to want to taste the unspoken ones of God.

This thing is seen and in the case of the image of the poor and of the princess[1].

The princess, embodiment of the divine light, stays in her bedroom [chitonos] [r. 879] and the poor lover sits out, humiliated for his miserable condition.

But if princess, alias the divine light, through a small opening [ec micras opis] [r.881] of the heavenly tent, stretches her hand covered with gold, then the lover wants to have as wife for ever.

When the hand of princess, ie the light, withdraws and he does not see anything, the poor lives „an unbearable pain” [tlipsin aforiton] [r. 888] and fills of a longing and more vividly for the light.

The image of the lover for persons heavy accessible is an introduction in the discussion about the crossing from knowledge of God through the contemplation of His creation at the sight of His glory.

The contemplation of the creatures, says Symeon, is a climb in stairs at the love, the faith and the pure fear of the Lord[2].

But those who „have united in beingly face with God [usiodos to Teo] Himself and were worthy of the sight [teas] and the His impartation [metexeos], are not attracted in passionate face or with passionate union of the icon of those created, nor of the shadow of those seen.

For their thinking spending in those beyond of feeling [iper estisin] and being mingled with them and clothed with the brightness of the divine nature, they do not have the feeling straightened to those seen as and before”[3].

Our interior accommodation with the divine light is that which moves/ take out our feeling from union with the world and unites us with those of eternity.

[1] SC 129, The Ethical Discourses, IV, 874-892, p. 70-72 / Ică jr. 1, p.  244.

[2] Idem, The Ethical Discourses, IV, 911-917, p. 72-74 / Idem, p. 245.

[3] Idem, The Ethical Discourses, IV, 917-924, p. 74 / Ibidem.

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