Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Symeon the New Theologian


I don't like St Wilfrid much, so I'll ignore him today and go for a different saint.  Hey, it's my blog, not the SEC's:-).  According to the Greek Orthodox Calendar, today is the Feast day of St Symeon the New Theologian.  Symeon wasn't a massive fan of the Episcopate as he encountered it.  I mean he wrote;

They (the bishops) unworthily handle My Body
and seek avidly to dominate the masses...
They are seen to appear as brilliant and pure,
but their souls are worse than mud and dirt,
worse even than any kind of deadly poison,
these evil and perverse men! (Hymn 58)

He was also a strong believer in direct personal experience of God as a prerequisite for teaching or leading and was rather inclined to disregard ordination as a requirement for hearing confessions and absolving the penitent. He was in some ways the Patron Saint of the Charismatic Movement.

In his Discourse XXVIII Symeon wrote about the light of Christ and its power to transform:
It shines on us without evening, without change, without alteration, without form. It speaks, works, lives, gives life, and changes into light those whom it illuminates. We bear witness that "God is light," and those to whom it has been granted to see Him have all beheld Him as light. Those who have seen Him have received Him as light, because the light of His glory goes before Him, and it is impossible for Him to appear without light. Those who have not seen His light have not seen Him, for He is the light, and those who have not received the light have not yet received grace. Those who have received grace have received the light of God and have received God, even as Christ Himself, who is the Light, has said, "I will live in them and move among them." (2 Cor. 6:16).

May the light of Christ transform us into that same light to change the world into the image of his glory.

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