The Sight of God in the Theology of Saint Symeon the New Theologian [73]

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, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72.

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His feeling in us, as the One we rise from the dead and our transformation through Him, our transfiguration through Him, starting from our soul and continuing with our whole body, means His undeniable evidence in our life.

The impartation into consciousness, ie through the sensing of His divinity, united in inseparable mode with the Body and His Blood is the certainty of our faith, the reactualization of our union with Him and the consciousness that this union will increase all more in this life and in throughout eternity.

In the expectation of eternal union with our Bridegroom, our longing of Him is saturated of the impartation with Him, the One eucharistic and this impartation, in paradoxical mode, opens us an appetite and more for the wish of His sight, of eternal union with Him.

The sacramental impartation with Christ not means a slighting of necessity of His sight but, contrariwise, it is the abyssal ecclesial event that stimulates His search, the desire to see Him as He is.

The Holy Eucharist is neither a closure of Christ in history or a deprivation of Him of transcendence, but the impartation with Him fills us of life of everlastingness, while we are still men of history and, on the other part, makes us to experience very deep His transcendence, just in this  immanence thrilling and saving for us, through which we impart us with Him at the Holy Liturgy.

Christ vouchsafes us, how says Symeon, on  each of us of the likeness with Him, of the pnevmatization of our entire being, without thereby to become sole possessors of the Ghost or of Christ.

Each of us filled with the glory of Christ and sanctify us through it and our source of holiness is the eternal glory of the Trinity.

In the measure in that recant us of Fount of our life, of the glory of the Trinity and we believe that we can save by ourselves and we despise the ecstatic unions and sacramental with Christ, we experience the devastating vacuum of helplessness, of loneliness and of self-destruction, as closing in the narrow circle, suffocating, of egoism.

Therefore Symeon stresses unchecked, that the true union with the eucharistic Christ is not an egoistic act or a personal relation with God, which give us a primacy to others, but it descends us into a greater self-knowledge, in which we live intense our relation with God.

The receiving of the Holy Mysteries opens us the being to love all, for that emphasizes us the opening of our love to God, through the experience of His love to us, which we live it in our being and not from outside of us.

Little farther, all in the ethical Discourse 1, Symeon prolongs the discussion about Matrimony with the one about the reality of union with Christ through the sacramental impartation of Him.

Christ, says he, gives us Himself towards impartation „from His flesh and from His bones, which He showed Apostles after He rose from the dead, saying: „Touch and see that the ghost has not flesh and bones, how you see Me having”[Lk. 24, 39], and from those itself  He gives us to eat [Jn. 6, 56], and through this impartation/ communion  [tis chinonias] makes us one with Him. […]

[Therefore] the Church of believers, ie of sons of God inwritten in heavens [Heb. 12, 23], cannot be a full body and entire [dinate ine is soma artion che olocliron] for God, without its Head, Himself Christ God and cannot live the true life and incorruptible [i zin tin ontos zoin che anoletron], if it is not nourished by Him, in every day, with the Bread the one of all days [Mat. 6, 11], without which we have no life [into us] and we cannot increase until [at the stature] of perfect man, until at the measure of age of His fullness, [which is] of all those who love Him”[1].

Is observed how Symeon reports, on the one part, at the eucharistic Christ as at the real Body of the Lord, about which testifies the Evangel, without to make abstraction through this of the person of Christ or to reduce on Christ only at Eucharist, and how, on the other part, he sees the Church right the mystical Body of Christ, in which each believer is a living member, recognized and attested in heavens by God, who must keep the life into it, through the daily impartation with Christ, the Head and the Bridegroom of Church.

Believers live, stresses Symeon, from the life of Christ, which flows through them, thanks to their union with Him. Without the life of Christ, without the feeling of life of Christ in us, we cannot be living members of Christ, for that we do not feel in us His life, ie His deity.

And without the daily impartation with Him we cannot raise at the stature of perfect believer, of man in which is alive, in evident mode, Christ God.

In  the 10th chapter of the ethical Discourse 1 Symeon explains what means our impartation with worthiness[2].

To eat with worthiness the Body of the Lord, says he, means to receive and to have in us His body took from the Ever Virgin Mary and to feel in us the reality of deity of the Son of God, ie the deity of Him who sits of the right hand of the Father[3].

If we say that Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Son of God is God and man, then, conformable of symeonian logic and of truth, of reality, we must impart with Christ the One mostglorified, ie with Christ the One full of Father’s glory.

For that now, Christ „is no longer known after flesh [II Cor. 5, 17]…but He is [in Eucharist] in body in unbodily face [asomatos en somati], mixing in unspeakable face with beings and our natures and deifying us as on some what are con-corporeal with Him and flesh from His flesh and bones of His bones [Eph. 5, 29].

This is the great thing of His unspeakable oikonomia [tis afrastu iconomias] and of His descent more above of word in us, this is the mystery full of all frightening, which I wavered to write it and of which approach I trembled”[4].


[1] SC 122, The Ethical Discourses, I, 6, 138-144, 166-173, p. 232-234, 234-236 / Ică jr. 1, p. 135-136.

[2] About the impartation with worthiness Symeon longer talk and little farther, in same discourse, in 10, 172-174, p. 264, where reiterating the problem of personal worthiness at the impartation with Christ, he shows that the worthiness consists in the impartation of eternal life of Christ, of conscietization, thus, of divine presence of Christ in our being.

[3] SC 122, The Ethical Discourses, I, 10, 58-62, p. 256 / Ică jr. 1, p. 144-145.

[4] Idem, The Ethical Discourses, I, 10, 67-75, p. 256 / Idem, p. 145.

Istoria filosofiei după Diogenes Laertios [16]

Prima parte, a doua, a treia, a patra, a cincea, a șasea, a șaptea, a opta, a noua, a zecea, a 11-a, a 12-a, a 13-a, a 14-a, a 15-a.

Diogenes Laertios, Despre viețile și doctrinele filosofilor, Ed. Polirom, Iași, 1997, 618 p.

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Unii susțin că „substanța divinității este lumea întreagă și cerul”, alții că „substanța zeului este de natură aeriană” și alții că este „sfera stelelor fixe”/ p. 250.

Oricum ar fi, substanța zeului este, prin urmare, de natură materială.

Natura este definită ca o forță de sine mișcătoare, care produce și păstrează în viață progenitura sa”, iar  destinul este „rațiunea în conformitate cu care se desfășoară lumea”/ Ibidem.

Așadar, cei ce vorbesc despre ceea ce a creat natura, exprimă o concepție antică și păgână. Și la fel cei care consideră destinul ceva real.

Stoicii susțineau raționalitatea naturii întrucât observau „analogia cu alcătuirea omului” și faptul că „țintește atât utilitatea cât și plăcerea” omului/ Ibidem.

Stoicii credeau în existența unor „genii tutelare, care simpatizează cu oamenii și veghează asupra treburilor omenești”, precum și în „eroi, adică în sufletele celor nobili care au supraviețuit corpurilor lor”/ Ibidem.

Unde anume au supraviețuit și cu ce influențează acest lucru viața oamenilor, nu ni se precizează.

Comete, stele cu barbă și stele făclii (lampadias) – ultimele două fiind fenomene rare/ p. 251.

„Natura este un foc artist ce pășește pe cale spre creație”/ Ibidem.

Sufletul uman „supraviețuiește morții. Totuși e pieritor, pe când sufletul universului, din care fac parte sufletele individuale, e nepieritor”. Unii spun însă că numai „sufletele înțelepților” vor continua să existe după moarte.

Însă și într-un caz, și într-altul, sufletele supraviețuiesc numai până la conflagrația universală/ Ibidem.

Sufletul are 8 părți/ p. 252.

Își imaginau că „sămânța umană, emisă de părinte în formă lichidă, este amestecată cu părți ale sufletului, unite în aceeași proporție cum se află și la părinți”/ Ibidem.

Ariston din Chios promova indiferența și asemăna raționamentele dialectice cu pânza de păianjen, fiind considerat „întemeietorul unei secte”/ Ibidem.

Herillos din Cartagina considera că scopul vieții este știința/ p. 253.

Dionysios, în schimb, în urma unei suferințe, a considerat că scopul vieții este plăcerea. A murit sinucigându-se prin înfometare/ p. 254.

The Sight of God in the Theology of Saint Symeon the New Theologian [72]

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, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71.

***

Is easy of observed the fact that, in this passage, our Father sees the deprivation of the Holy Mysteries as a moment of interiorization and of  conscietization and more of necessity of union with God, which lives it and the one who does not see the light, which is private from the sight of the divine light.

With other words, the true love of Christ conscietizes and more, then when we live our remoteness from Him as the greatest personal drama.

When we feel how good was for us with Christ and how bad we feel without Him, then we understand, into an overwhelming mode, His direct role, of irreplaceable and deifying, which has Christ in our life.

The ethical Discourse 1, this theological overwhelming panoply, brings us and closer of the  core of symeonian eucharistic theology, ie of interior feeling of grace.

Speaking about Lord’s resurrection from the dead, Symeon leads the discussion towards our deification, through the impartation of Him.

 If then when raised, Christ has deified first the soul and then made as His body to be full of glory[1] and, in consequence, He descended in Hell and rose the souls of Saints from there, but not and their bodies, thing reserved of universal resurrection[2], all alike, says Symeon, „when we take the Ghost of the Master and of our God, make us together-sharers [simmetohi] and of Godhead and of His being.

For eating His Tooclean Body, ie the Divine Mysteries [Tia Mistiria], we make indeed con-corporeal [sissome] and related [singhenis] with Him entirely [olocliros], like says and the Divine Paul: „we are bone from His bones and meat from His meat” [Eph. 5, 30]; and again: „From the fullness of His divinity we all took and grace upon grace” [Jn. 1, 16 şi Col. 2, 9].

Reaching so these, makes us, through grace, like Loving of people God and our Lord Himself, renew with the soul, made incorruptible and living as raised from the dead, ie seeing on the One who reckoned fit to make Himself like us and seen being of Him, we who have vouchsafed make us like Him [axiotentes omii gheneste afto], as someone sees from afar the face of his friend, talks and speaks with him, and hear his voice”[3].

The receiving of the grace at Baptism and the sight of the light in ecstasy do not exclude the receiving of eucharistic Christ. The receiving of the Holy Ghost means the beingly union with God, from where the insistence of Saint Symeon in to name the ecstasy a beingly union, at the interior level of our being, with the glory of God.

The union with the glory of Christ presuppose and the sacramental union with Him, the One eucharistic.

After how tells us the text just cited, the union with the Holy Mysteries, with eucharistic Christ means our transformation in together-relatives with Christ, for that we are con-corporeal with Christ, for that Christ is in us and with us.

As and the union with the glory of Christ, the union with the glory of eucharistic Christ, which is the same eternal glory of the Trinity, means the union, the unmixed mixing with the humanity and the deity of Christ. Our entire body and soul unites with the integral humanity of Christ and with His divinity.

Our eucharistic con-corporeality with Christ is plenary and not partial, accentuates Symeon. The impartation with Christ is the experience, at the actual ecclesial degree, of eternal union with Christ, our Bridegroom.

Just therefore Symeon speaks of our full likeness with the person of Christ through the impartation with Him, which is coinhabitation and the real union with Him.

Make us like Him: this is the direct result of conscious impartation and full of His person. The consequences of impartation are astounding, for that make us like Him, incorruptible, resurrected with the soul, seeing on Him as living, as the One living Christ, Who stands with us the living.

The feeling of the deity of Christ, of eternal life what emanates from Christ, means real experience, shakable beautiful and deep of presence of God in us.


[1] SC 122, The Ethical Discourses, I, 3, 69-74, p. 200 / Ică jr. 1, p. 123.

[2] Idem, The Ethical Discourses, I, 3, 74-78, p. 200 / Ibidem.

[3] Idem, The Ethical Discourses, I, 3, 82-98, p. 202 / Idem, p. 123-124.