The Sight of God in the Theology of Saint Symeon the New Theologian [85]

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, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84.


Symeon, like Paul, does not speak about the relation between man and woman in the frame of couple married and about our relation with God as about some nonspecific realities of man but, on the contrary, he highlights the fulfillment of man in the frame of the relation of reciprocal communion.

But Symeon is attentive to emphasize the difference of degree between the relation of spouses and the relation of the ghostualised with God.

If in the frame of matrimony, the communion keeps of interior rhythmation of the two, which presupposes, mostly, and the sexual relations, as mean of interior approach, the relation of God with the seers of His glory, says Symeon, excludes any impurity, for that He unites with us „în taintless face and beyond of unspeakableness”, ie in mystical mode, through the sight of His light.

The deep sense of matrimony is the union of the two between them underlained on the union with God of each in part. But, in the same time, the experience of matrimony gives us strong motivation to communion with all our brothers into Christ in the space of Church.

The Mystery of Holy Cheirotonia is, also, the sacramental frame of union of the cheirotoned with God, through which this becomes the active servant of God for his brothers, being the active receptacle of divine will.

Both Holy Mysteries have the vertical dimension of union with God deep sticked in the horizontal dimension of unity, on the one part, in the frame of family, of small Church, where the two assume and bear reciprocal in their being and, on the other part, in Church, in the Church extended, where the priest, and the hierarch especially, represents the focus of active unity of members of Church, bearing of care to each in part.

In the Hymn 58, Saint Symeon shows, into a thrilling mode, the interior profile of the true priest and the ecstatic experience that is asked of one who comes to receive the cheirotonia:

„And the one who not received in him on Christ, on His Father and on the Holy Ghost, on the One God dwelling and walking [II Cor. 6, 16] in conscious face in his heart, how will show a sincere service? From who else will learn the humbleness [, if not from the Holy Trinity] or how will learn the divine will?

Who will be intercessor for him or will placate him with God and will show him as on a worshiper, of God the single clean and taintless, and which not be ashamed, [ie to that One] to Which the Cherubims do not dare to fix the regards, for that is unapproachable for all Angels?

Who will guarantee, that this will keep without sin [cratin anamartitos] and will serve without doom [ierurghin acatacritos] the frightening service of Sacrifice the without blemish?

Which angel, which man will can say this or that he can do this? For I say and I give testimony to all – nobody deceive himself and nor delude himself in words! – : anyone has not left first the world and will not hate from soul the ones of world [I Jn. 2, 15] and will not love in sincere face only on Christ and will not lose for Him his soul itself [Mat. 16, 25], not caring of nothing from the ones of man’s life, and not is as one, which dies in every instant and will not complain and will not mourn long for Him and will not have only His appetence and will not vouchsafe [cataxioti], as through many troubles and painstakings to take the Divine Ghost, Whom gave the Divine Apostles, as through Him to banish any passion and to realize easy any virtue and to earn to himself springs of tears – whence come the cleanness and the contemplation of the soul, the knowledge of the divine will, the lightenment of divine brightness and the sight of unapproachable light [I Tim. 6, 16], whence is given the unpassion and the holiness all those who were vouchsafed to see Him and to have on God in heart [cataxiotisin oran che ehin ton Teon en cardia], to be guarded by Him and to guard His divine commandments – [whoever does not have these] dare not to receive the priesthood  [ierosinin] and the leading of souls [psihon prostasian] or to begin something in this regard!

For so how Christ brings on Himself and brings He Himself sacrifice to God, His Father, so He Himself brings us sacrifice [prosferi] and on us and all He receives us [dehete].

Because the undertaking of such things will be to judgment and doom, for that it is worse than the murder, worse than the adultery and the fornication and than all other sins.

For all these are done now towards some mortal, because, without fail, we sin to each other. But the one who dares to sell the divine and to make trade with the grace of the Ghost, that one sins, without fail, towards of God Himself”[1].

Symeon shows, after how we can observe, that the ascesis, the road of cleaning, that makes us to see on God and His conscious indwelling in us are our entitling to approach to cheirotonia.

Our relation with God, anterior cheirotonia, develops special much post factum, then when we see the serving God and on us, as His servants, through the prism of boldness which God instills in our heart of to bring Him the taintless Sacrifices  and in the living word which He pours it in us, as to feed with His word on God’s people, the Church.

The ascesis and its ecstatic fruits make us proper to priestly ministry, for that through these leave us led by God, occupied by the Ghost of God, through Which we speak and we serve the divine.

The profile of true priest, which Symeon paints us in words, has nothing to do with ghostual imposture, with the simony and with the priesthood understood as mean of subsistence.

For Symeon, the priesthood means the separation of all for the love of Christ and the life in which, the Ghost of God is the true promoter and supporter of our initiatives.

The Mystery of Holy Cheirotonia, after how emerges of here, puts us in the posture of servants of God and of leaders of Church’s members to salvation, lived in the boldness which brings it the holy life, our deep communion with God.

From this passage and from the following which we will quote, will emerge the fact, that the preparation for the sacramental cheirotonia and the cheirotonia in itself were for Symeon capital events in the life of those who receive them and which change, in fundamental mode, the interiority and their engagement in the Church’s life.

We must observe here and the magistral comparison which Symeon makes it between His Sacrifice brought the Father and our bringing, by Him, at the Father. After how He has brought Himself as clean Sacrifice to the Father, all so, those who come at cheirotonia with a holy life, clean and Saints, are brought right clean sacrifices to the Father and He receives at Himself.

Symeon accentuates the receiving of priesthood’s grace into the cleaning of heart and the priest’s quality of living intercessor, who has the audacity of love to God and manifests it in the prayer and the intercession for his believers and for entire world, for that he has a deep communion with Him.

[1]  SC 196, Hymns, LVIII, 206-262, p. 292-298 / Ică jr. 3, p. 294-296.