The Sight of God in the Theology of Saint Symeon the New Theologian [98]

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, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97.


The absolute positivity of sight in our life is seen and from the distinction on which our author makes it between the one which only theorizes and the one which experiences it at proper: „No the theoretician theologian sees the divine light and unites in love whit Christ, but the ghostual man or the Saint, which was purified of passions, who has left the egoism and opens with the will toward the love of God and of fellowmen”[1].

Through this Father Professor shows, that the ascesis is the integrant part from theology and that the ascesis, the cleaning of passions is the road toward sight, toward the mystical experiences, mysterious, divine.

The sight of Christ’s glory is, in the same time, knowledge and an endless invitation of deepening in knowledge, in the knowledge as personal relation with God: „In union with Christ, the man has the perspective of an eternal advancement in the divine light and in his spiritual enrichment.

For the light what is communicated to him from Christ is the irradiation of God’s infinite being, which is unbounded. The man, as hypostasis of the human being, increases in its knowledge through the energies potential contained in it.

But when he unites with Christ comes from Him and the works or the energies of God’s being, which is infinite. He feeds thus from all the divine content, from the infinity itself, from all what is created and uncreated”[2].

The ecstatic sight is an anticipation of the Kingdom of God, where, „united with Him, we will be filled with all of light and all the universe will be in the Kingdom of Heavens a Kingdom of light, a Kingdom of light spread between the persons of the Holy Trinity and from Her between the human persons united with Christ”[3].

The divine darkness, repeats Father Professor, is the too much light which comes from God’s being[4]. At Saint Symeon the New Theologian does not exist „the obscure nights” of John of the Cross[5], but only the joy of „the size of divine light”[6], which overwhelmed on this.

His commentaries at Hymns show how much he was familiarized with the flame of theology of Saint Symeon. Over all Father Professor Dumitru Stăniloae gives righteousness of Saint Symeon, enthuses of his words and sees in them an accurate interpretation of our faith.

In n. 239 at the Hymn 18, as to give a single example of correct evocation and enthusiastic of symeonian theology, Father Professor Dumitru Stăniloae wrote: „Into a time, when in Occident appeared the beginnings of Scholastica, which  will pretend to define rational on God, in Orient was affirmed, through Symeon, in accentuated mode, the union of knowledge with the conscience of the mystery of God and, in general, of reality. It is the testimony of a spiritual maturity[7].

And the theological maturity of Symeon, on which observed it Father Professor Dumitru Stăniloae, consists just in that, that he does not attempt at the mystery of God’s life and of living relation with Him, but he presents it right the target and the fulfillment of the entire humanity.

The sight of God is the foundation of salvation and of true joy, for that the eternal life is a continuous deepening in the sight and the understanding of the divine light.


In conclusion, we observed how our great theologian has appropriated, with much fidelity, the scriptural ecstatic terminology and on that of the Fathers, and he spoke in the perimeter of sources, without as to try to contradict them, but showing himself as one who has learned from them.

The theology of glory at Father Professor Dumitru Stăniloae is personalist and communional, for that the sight means the knowledge and the love of God, through our cleaning of passions and through the wish of Him with all our being.

The centrality of Christ in our life means our filling of light, which flows from His person and the sight is the preamble of eternal life, where all will be one in the light of glory of the Most Holy Trinity.

[1] Rev. Prof. D.Th. Dumitru Stăniloae, The Personal Relation with Christ in the Light of Divine Infinity, after Saint Symeon the New Theologian [Legătura personală cu Hristos în lumina infinităţii dumnezeieşti, după Sfântul Simeon Noul Teolog], in Orthodox Dogmatic Theology Studies [Studii de teologie dogmatică ortodoxă], op. cit, p. 315.

[2] Idem, p. 316.

[3] Ibidem.

[4] Idem, p. 317.

[5] Hymns, the edition Stăniloae, n. 117, p. 366.

[6] Idem, n. 144, p. 375.

[7] Idem, n. 239, p. 413.

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