The Sight of God in the Theology of Saint Symeon the New Theologian. Introduction

Rev. D.Th. Dorin Octavian Picioruş

The Sight of God

in the Theology of

Saint Symeon the New Theologian


Theology for Today

Bucharest

2009

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Rev. D.Th. Dorin Octavian Picioruş

The Sight of God

in the Theology of

Saint Symeon

the New Theologian

(Doctoral Thesis)

Theology for Today

Bucharest

2009

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Introduction

The present thesis is an anttempt to synthetic presentation, in same time, of the steadfast and the dynamic character of the experience and the orthodox thinking.

Any pnevmatical reality and theological theme must to be rethoughted, updated in dimension of the present, for to be an active factor of dynamism in our personal and community life.

But the theological updation does not require and the dilution of the Church’s teaching, but her perception of the real parameters of orthodox experience.

Because pnevmatical experience is the foundation of the theological elaborations and it is that keeps us in the Church, as people of alive and lucid faith, with attention to changes our world.

Our thesis being developed insed of the discipline Orthodox Dogmatic Theology, in the Systematics department, our theme will be discussed in this regime of  research.

Theme the sight of God will be presented as part of personal soteriology, intending to put in evidence, in a systematic and concise mode, Saint Symeon the New Theologian contribution to this question.

We consider that experience and theology developed who is known as the third theologian of the Church are a norm and a true guide in our research.

Choise theme came from a deep inner need, from the desire to deepen of the coordinates the symeonian theology, which, unfortunately, are to little discussed at academic level.

Knowledge the experience and theology of Saint Symeon we seems a huge benefit for our theologians and belivers, as long as we confront, directly, with the consequences of secularization and globalization depersonalized.

As a protective shield to the erosion of membership ecclesial consciousness and understanding person and interpersonal relations, Saint Symeon proposes us a theology of experience, in which God descends to man, showing him His glory, for the man to raise by Him at the level Trinity, to open him the trinitarian communion.

And this, because Symeon sees man as having its center of gravity in God and not in himself.

Closure of the human in self, in a subjective perspective can not present a mystical experience, a personal experience with God, but for Symeon the true relantioship with God means the communion of man with God, in and through His glory, as the ecstatic sight.

Subscribing in the personalist lode of the Church Orthodox Fathers, Saint Symeon the New Theologian takes together the interpersonal and objective character of our relantionship with God.

Therefore, for he the orthodox believer experiment uncreated and eternal grace of God not to close itself and not break the Church community.

The sight of God is not escape from time and we can not force our being it to occur but is lifting us by God, through His glory, to fill us with brightness of His glory, and for that this thing would make us become fervent belivers in the frame life of the Church.

Fundamental consequence of God’s vision is a life full of dynamism and dedication to serve the Church, a continuous search for us to have a holy life, namely so many positive attributes for the life of the Church and society in which we exist.

Therefore, choosing this theme we consider an everyone’s gain, a ecclesial gain, because symeonian theology is a continuous recourse to experience, equilibrium and fidelity to Church Tradition.

Our work will consist of three distinct chapters but with internal links between them.

The first chapter will threat the problem of the biblical and patristic premises of man’s deification and of the sight of God in orthodox theology.

We shall seek to show that the seen world are a rational and spiritual foundation, because is personal creation of the divine Logos by Whom all things are made [pa,nta di Auvtou/ evge,neto, John: 1, 3 acc. GNT].

Rational and spiritual foundation of the world must be seen in relation to the existence of God’s uncreated energies, which penetrate and support all existences, both the visible and invisible.

Because man can share the grace in the Church and God’s grace penetrate in real mode of the human being we can speak, in the same time, about the sight of God and the deification, both with internal link between them.

The second chapter will threat the theme of God’s sight to Saint Symeon the New Theologian and its implications in personal salvation, this chapter shall be essential chapter of the thesis.

In this chapter, after an introduction to the ecstatic terminology of the Saint Symeon, we present connections experience God’s sight with triadology, christology, pneumatology, ecclesiology, sanctology and eschatology.

Step by step we shall show how advised and as organic include Symeon in the Church’s teaching and experience, because his own experience affirm and not refute the Father’s theology.

As a servant of the Divine Liturgy and the Mysteries of the Church, as abbot of the monastery, as a writer and theologian, as a confessor of the orthodox faith and as a man unjustly persecuted for the depth of his theology and of his love for Church Tradition and for Saints of God, Saint Symeon proves, be deeds and word, that fulfill his own theology. Therefore he remained as a landmark authentic of life, experience and theology for our Church.

The third chapter will have the teme reception theology of glory in orthodox space and the importance her assume in the postmodern world.

Here we shall discuss the theology sight of God to the Father Professor Dumitru Stăniloae, our beloved and venerable theologian, considered, on rightly word, the great theologian of the twentieth century, together with the theology of glory to Professor Vladimir Lossky, which was apreciated very warm in the West for his patristic updates in the domain of the mystical theology.

Last sequence of our work will focus on the human condition in postmodernity and will be a brief discussion on how you can save an orthodox beliver, of various ideological traps, through experience and theology of the Church.

We thanks the Father Professor Dumitru Popescu, our coordinator, for special attention which has given us and for the real support and the vision of ensemble that gave us.

Together with his Holiness and his effective support, decisive in systematization of the theological informations, we could develop this thesis, which we hope will be helpful to those who will consult it.

Cry

Only You frighten man with Thy beauty,
You and only You make him happy with Thy mercy, my God,
because You are the joy of all creatures.

We seek to enjoy, but fail in a sullen joy…

And we are surly because we don’t see beyond us,
but we lose our-selfs in the things.

But when You strengthen us,
then we feel
that our life is the happiness.

Have mercy on us,
those who hope only to You!

When you are born again

the tomb of Blessed Dumitru Staniloae

The day of October 31 is my birthday…and I reached at 32 years.  After 4 years of literature and painting, after 100 or so books, after 15 years of theology, after 4 years of priesthood, after 4 years of blogging, in 32 years … I feel everything from the beginning, all in a student’s life. Today I felt, that I was born again, or take to the top, because that life is a journey, that never ends, although you die…

God taught me to appreciate life, because life means property in which we saved. He taught me to respect life from the first moment of my life, because I was saved from death by an earthquake. An earthquake, earthquake in 1977, saved my life in order not to be aborted by my mother.

Continuously and learned that life is pointless, if your life means a work that fulfills you. And my life is a job and a prayer, which I celebrate myself, make myself beautiful, beautiful man. Therefore today I am happy, fulfilled…but feel that I have to take one from  beginning, I forget what I did and I concentrated on what to do.

Without this fresh start everything I have done not make sense.

Looking back and seeing the long line of miracles in my life. I see those who helped and those who I have avoided due to satanic or I was impaired. I see all sorts of people and great events in my life. This would have occurred, if not started…earthquake.

In Romania, died in 1977, in that earthquake, many people value…But I was born when, at the end of October and early November, in an ambiguous atmosphere. I have lived until about 13 years into full communism, for class 8th to begin to teach democracy, because of the revolutionary events of 1989’s Romania.

The year 1989 marked my conversion to the Church’s life, just because some young people, like me, who were dying in the streets, with flowers in their hands, because President Nicolae Ceauşescu, the communist dictator of that date. In 1989, in Bucharest, tank was passed over the young demonstrators, who had flowers in their hands.

Their faith and their courage have passed since then in my heart, for which I thank them and pray for their salvation. Therefore I say that no one comes by chance on this earth, but each one is born with a purpose, a purpose that God wants. And I think my vocation is to be a servant of the Church, a priest and a writer of the Church, a theologian, to speak about the wonders of God in the life and history of the Church.

I feel the same with all my being. Therefore I need, day by day, to do something more and more beautiful for me and for all together. And every day is an evocation of presence and work of God in our lives. His presence with us is that which makes us constantly changing life, to see our sins, we see errors, let us see our wickedness…but we while, to be others, to be His own.

Write it here, I do not evoke my person, but evokes person of God and I thank and publicly, in the eyes of all for the wonders of my life. And our Church has, in its Liturgy, prayers for the blessings of  God poured into our lives and encourages us to thank His with heart size. It teaches us to thank and to enjoy front of God.

And, if we live our lives before Him, all before Him and we should enjoy beautiful.

I thank, my God, for all!

I know, that I can not pray to Thee.

But I know You know my heart and understand my joy for You and that only You  are my joy completely.

Your will be with me, my God, to know what to do with my life!

This is the fulfillment of my, if I see what to do.

Fill me of Thy glory and Thy eternal joy, that Yours is the Kingdom and power and glory of the Father and the Son, and Holy Spirit, now and ever and ever. Amen!

Die So Easily …

because i love you

For my wife

You die with a smile
pressed on your face.
You die as a raindrop,
like a dragon-fly attached to the wings.

Therefore no one sees you, my darling,
nobody!
No one knows, because nobody loves you
like me.

I have loved you with all my heart.
I’ve loved you with all my life,
with all my blood,
that all my words…

And that is why your death is like a smile,
as a high breeze
for my eyes
because it makes me cry sweet …

And everything is so easy
and so hard at the same time.

Because I can not believe that your death is possible.
Because I believe that death
may be simpler and
so committed and love …

Love,
for it is God’s gift, is so triumphant,
passing many obstacles,
because he does not fear death.

And with all this, you die
as a dandelion blown in the wind.
You die as an irreplaceable friend of my heart.
You die with all that are you
and nobody,
but no one can replace,
never, your
beauty.

Gladness of Communion Is Mutual Understanding

Enjoy only those who can forgive. Those who don’t know this emotion are the crow on the fence.

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I am a man with a taste for friendship developed. For this reason very rarely find people, who feel friendship more important than air.

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Toamna e o bucurie de decadență. E o bucurie de lucrurile care se destramă. Numai că în urma acestei destrămări încete rămâne speranța, că primăvara va aduce ghiocei tot la fel de albi, ca și până acum.

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Autumn is a season with funeral arrangements. And, in despite this fact, desire for human life is a strong miss.

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When you kill people false hopes then they wake up from sleep. But worth it to wake people from the sleep spiritual death!

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Prostia e un elogiu adus Satanei. Numai proștii nu vor să vadă la ce slavă dumnezeiască dau cu piciorul, dacă rămân în orbirea lor spirituală.

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I know, that great things have need for their eyes.

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Cuvintele nu ascund răutatea și nici sfințenia din inimă! Cuvintele sunt cele mai drastice forme de supraviețuire ale propriei tale interiorități. Ele te vor scoate din mormântul uitării și din nedreptățile multiple pe care le-ai suferit în istorie.

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Saints take revenge on us in every day. They show us, with great kindness, what we are not, my beloved.

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Invidia e o sinucidere prostească în mijlocul bucuriei de-a găsi nod în papură.

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Singura liniște a omului e să se împace cu Dumnezeul lui. Dacă nu există această împăcare unică și fundamentală poți să îi schimbi toate organele, pentru că  omul va rămâne tot la fel de nefericit.

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The delight of a Christian Orthodox is that there is no death. Yes, and we will die! … Only that, our death is a joy and an eternal life.

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The measure of the man is not the man but Christ God. But is a measure to which man tends, always tends, not how one can live totally.

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Dacă nu îmi dovedești că ești profund…nu poți fii un creștin ortodox autentic! N-am văzut până acum ortodocși reali, care să fie mitocani sau fără inimă miloasă. Acestea fac diferența!

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Holiness is a reality that can not be hidden. That is why only fools are to dirty with their own words.

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Când Dumnezeu închide gurile celor care clevetesc, atunci adevărul e mai evident decât penibila decizie de a te arăta prost crescut.

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Silence is the weapon of those who have the truth.

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Cel mai înfiorător argument e cel care te face să te cutremuri…din cauza împunsăturii smereniei.

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Am observat că orbii cred că fericirea e frazeologică. Până la urmă, de ce trebuie să ne întristăm, dacă oamenii vor să își roadă rănile precum urșii?

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I prefer the man of God instead of praised by everybody. Why? Because with the man of God I have all heaven on our side.

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You have style!

green

To sing with the head voice, to feel what singing is… to sing. The song does not mean the rage, does not mean noise. Who makes noise show that, in his heart, it’s a  world with disability of beauty. Therefore I do not like people who do not feel peace song, not to make the song feel something pacifist.

So to play with style means to play with nuances. Also, the dresses with good taste is to show how you feel, how well you feel in yourself but you want to show others of you. Clothes show your soul. If your clothes are simple and neat look from this aspect, that your soul is in peace, is several orders.

Eyes are windows to your heart, for your repentance, for your prayer to God. Of course, if your eyes are bad and cool show, that you are not led by the Church. Because the Church is the one who makes from eye evil eyes of pigeon. And one Who makes us clean is the Spirit of God, Who cleanses our sins.

Therefore I believe, that being Orthodox means to be a man with style. And to have style is to know to make distinctions. And what it means to distinguish? It means knowing, when to talk and when to shut up, when to make a specific gesture, with the heart to sing, how to read a book, how to approach a man.

For all this you need style, ie attention and acumen. Attention to details. Attention to everything of your life’s  aspects.

For by all this attention to prove that we are real and not mechanically imitate others. Imitation is a sign of inner death. If you do not feel what to do, does not help at all to imitate others, so… outside. Because we live our lives, not lives of others.

And if we live then, why imitating others like monkeys?  Our relationship with God should teach us to be normal and not copies of others. And people with style are normal because they are different. And being different does not mean being selfish, but, rather, means to be a distinct person in the communion.

For this reason, the Church is not a lot of people, but a community of unique, to the distinct. And we observe that each  Saint is a unique, something special, not to be confused with one another.

And, whilst maintaining the uniqueness of each, it does not disturb communion, but a rich. Actually the real state of communion.

All are in communion with God, but each in his own way. And, when we relate to others, we refer to the way: with our uniqueness. Our uniqueness preserve our place in the community. Community Church needs all of us, that and the priest and those who sing and those who help the sick and those who do cleaning …

Each of us brings his gifts to help community Church. And each time, in everything we should have style. Must see, that we are the ones who did something, because all know, that we are able to do that very well. To see each specialization.

And when this happens each feels in place, because each does what it knows to do.

Have style, my beloved,  style your heart!

Show others, what God has done in you, in your life!

For that having style means: to be a unique man in connection with unique people.

Demonism Versus Deification

In the Gospel of this sunday, we are dealing with the healing of the Gerasene demoniac. And „when he [the demon] saw Jesus, he cried out  and fell down before Him, and said with a loud voice: What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beseech you, do not torment me!” (Lk. 8, 28).

Why speak the demons, from demonized, before Him? Why they not be giving strong before Him? Because demons are creatures, fallen creatures and are not on an equal footing  with God. Demons are against God, for they are free to do whatever they want, but they do not decide instead Him. And they talk, because He allows them.

So God’s power is not equal to that of demons. But they were allowed by Christ to enter into pigs. And in the pigs devils show wanted to make it man: to kill him. But God has not allowed to kill the man, but the herd of pigs allowed death, because it is contrary to the Law of Moses.

Id est, who does not gather with God scatters. And we lose, every time we lose, it does not look what we personalize, but choose what makes us sick. Demonization means the annexation of Satan. And the demonization is the opposite the deification, who is joining the Lord, that to be one spirit with Him.

In the Orthodox Church, at Baptism, who is baptized is exorcism of demons. Exorcisms are liturgical prayers. In the name of Holy Trinity, demons are commanded to leave the one, who comes to Baptism and then he is asked to forsake Satan and to be united with Christ, his God.

Therefore, the orthodox spiritual life is a life in God’s grace, a life of asceticism, the fight against our passions. Fighting with passions is a battle with demons, who push us to evil. And this fight is against demonization.

All sin makes us Satan’s room. It demands the confession of our sins, for their cleaning. And, as exorcisms,  the confession of sins is also a liturgical work. A work of liturgical renewal of our interiority. And, by the power of Christ Church, priests forgive men their sins, and makes them full of God’s grace again.

Renewing members of the Church is the great mystery of the world. This is done in silence. While the world sleeps in her sins, the Church deificates man, that changes continuously through the glory of the Trinity.

Therefore, the 23rd sunday after Pentecost is a sunday  of  holiness, because it is a sunday in that, the glory of God is proclaimed as  what rebuilds the man. For this reason, man should not be satanic, but Holy. Holiness is the fulfillment of human and that holiness is the holiness of our trinitarian God.