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Ecclesiology

 2. 7.  The Saints as Living Members of the Church

If we talked, anterior, about the Mysteries of the Church and, in the same time, about the real feeling of grace in their frame[1], without just and maybe, to live as living member of the Church means to be racorded at the sacramentological life of Church, but and at the sight of God’s glory through our cleaning from passions.

The authentic ghostual man does not separate the receiving of the Holy Mysteries to the hesychastic life, of personal ghostual life, as long as he is not one who lived restrictive to their, but one who integrates the whole unfolding of life of the Church in his person.

The symeonian ecclesiological theology is most evident expressed in the ethical Discourse 1, but its footprint is subtly integrated in all his opera.

But, as and until now, Symeon does not regard the Church from point of view canonical, administrative, organizational, liturgical or historical, but from the point of view of the interior link of each, through his life of holiness, with Christ, the Head of the Church[2].

Going on this personalist lode with Christ of living members of the Church, Saint Symeon does not approach the ecclesiology from the point of view of a certain christian, who cannot seize interior the colossal holiness of the Church, but through the prism of Saints, that unite, into consciousness, with Christ.

The union with Christ must be real one and not imaginary. Just therefore Symeon refers at the Saints as at authentic members of the Church. For him, the Saints are conscious of their real union with Christ, which is evident in their whole being.

The Saints, says Symeon, „are all…members of Christ, God the over all…[and] they must to cleave [checollimeni] to Him [I Cor. 6, 7] and to unite [sinimmeni] with His body, as the One to be Head [I Col. 1, 18].

For the Saints, from age and until in the day of then, are members of Him…[and these] many are made one body of Christ, as a single man. […]

[Thus,] some fulfill the orderliness of hands, working until now and making His tooholy will, making them again worthy on the unworthy and saving them for Him; others have the orderliness of the shoulders, bearing one another’s burdens [Gal. 6, 2] or even the lost sheep and found by them…; others have the orderliness of the chest, springing to the thirsty and hungry the righteousness of God, the abyss the too limpid of the word of wisdom and of knowledge the unspeakable…; others have the orderliness of womb, receiving on all in the inwardly of them, through love conceiving the Ghost of saving and having in them the disposition, which comprises His mysteries the unspeakable and hidden; others have the role of the thighs, bearing in them the fruitfulness of the meanings worthy of God of mystical theology and nascent on earth the Ghost of saving, ie the fruit and the seed of the Ghost in the hearts of men through their word; and others have the role of the feet and of the soles,  showing manhood and patience in trials that Job, noway tottering or weakening in their steadfastness for the good ones, but bearing the burden of His gifts”[3].

From the symeonian passage results, that God is the promoter of personal diversity of Saints and that the diversity of charisms received by them not affect the unity of the mystical body of the Church, but, on the contrary, this charismatic diversity is the factor of interior cohesion of its.

Each Saint is a living member (melin) of Christ, a member with certain charisms received from God and these are active, just due to the interior unity between Saints and God.

If the Lord used in Jn. 15, 1-7 the paradigm of the vineyard, which supports the branches and Saint Paul the pradigm of the body in Eph. 4, 12; 5, 23-32, for to emphasize the inextricable interior link between Saints and God, Saint Symeon develops here, after our opinion, the pauline paradigm and he exemplifies the real mode in which must be understood Eph. 4, 11-13.


[1] Father Vasile Citirigă says, into a his article, that the Holy Mysteries „are acts of union between divine and human…[for that they] actualize always the saving work of Christ…and through this they sustain the Church. Through Mysteries, the believer receiving the fruits of redemption, lives anticipated and tastes from the richness of eternal life, on the measure what he unites with Christ”, acc. Rev. Conf. D. Th. Vasile Citirigă, The Dogmatic Grounds of Eternal Life [Temeiurile dogmatice ale vieţii veşnice], en The Orthodoxy [Ortodoxia] LVI (2005), no. 3-4, p. 71.

[2] His Eminence Kallistos Ware, talking about the unity of the Church, said: „So united is the bond of love between members of the Body of Christ, that nobody accomplishes ruptured from other. We are saved as a family. The Church prays not only for the completion of every man in the frame of his time, but and for the coming of Kingdom of Heavens for all and in all”, acc. Kallistos Ware, One Body in Christ: Death and the Communion of Saints, en Sobornost (1981), no. 3, p. 190.

[3] SC 122, The Ethical Discourses, I, 6, 1-30, p. 224-226 / Ică jr. 1, p. 132.

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