Symeon the New Theologian: The resurrection of the soul is union with Life Wednesday, May 4 2011 

Let us look and carefully examine what is the mystery of that Resurrection of Christ our God that occurs mystically in us at all times, if we are willing.

Let us examine how Christ is buried in us as in a sepulchre and how He unites Himself to our souls and rises again, raising us with Himself….

Christ our God was suspended on the Cross and, having nailed thereto the sin of the world and having tasted death, He descended into the nethermost depths of Hades.

He returned from Hades into His own immaculate body, from which His Divinity had in no way been separated as He descended thither, and at once He rose from the dead.

Thereafter, He ascended to Heaven with great glory and power.

In just the same way, since we have now come out of the world and entered into the tomb of repentance and humiliation by being assimilated to the sufferings of the Lord, He Himself comes down from Heaven and enters into our body as into a grave.

He unites Himself to our souls and raises them up, though they were avowedly dead, and then vouchsafes to him who has thus been raised with Christ to behold the glory of His mystical Resurrection.

Christ’s Resurrection is thus our resurrection, the resurrection of us who lie prostrate in sin.

He who has never fallen into sin, as it is written, nor suffered any alteration in His own glory, how will He ever be raised up or glorified, since He is always supremely glorified and remains the same, “far above every principality and authority”?

As has been said, Christ’s Resurrection and His glory are our glory, which is accomplished in us, disclosed to us, and beheld by us through His Resurrection.

Once He has appropriated what is ours, that which He works in us He ascribes to Himself.

The resurrection of the soul is union with life.

Just as the body is dead and cannot live or be called alive unless it receives the living soul in itself and is united to it, though without admixture, so also the soul cannot live unless it is ineffably and unconfusedly united to God, Who is truly eternal Life.

Symeon the New Theologian (949–1022 AD) @ Monks and Mermaids.

Symeon the New Theologian: The resurrection of Christ takes place when Christ arises in us with the lightnings of incorruption and deity Monday, Apr 25 2011 

Most men believe in the resurrection of Christ, but very few have a clear vision of it….

That most sacred formula which is daily on our lips does not say “Having believed in Christ’s resurrection”.

Rather, it says: “Having beheld Christ’s resurrection, let us worship the Holy Lord Jesus, who alone is without sin.”

How then does the Holy Spirit urge us to say “Having beheld Christ’s resurrection” – which we have not seen – as though we had seen it?

For Christ has risen once for all a thousand years ago, and even then without anybody’s seeing it?

Surely Holy Scripture does not wish us to lie? Far from it!

Rather, it urges us to speak the truth, that the resurrection of Christ takes place in each of us who believes.

And this happens not once, but every hour, so to speak, when Christ the Master arises in us, resplendent in array and flashing with the lightnings of incorruption and Deity.

For the light-bringing coming of the Spirit shows forth to us, as in early morning, the Master’s resurrection, or, rather, it grants us to see the Risen One Himself.

Therefore we say, “The Lord is God, and He has given us light” (Ps. 118:27), and we allude to His second coming and add these words, “Blessed is He that cometh in the Name of the Lord” (Ps. 118:26).

Those to whom Christ has given light as He has risen, to them He has appeared spiritually, He has been shown to their spiritual eyes.

When this happens to us through the Spirit He raises us up from the dead and gives us life.

He grants us to see Him, who is immortal and indestructible.

More than that, He grants clearly to know Him who raises us up (Eph. 2:6) and glorifies us (Rom. 8:17) with Himself, as all the divine Scripture testifies.

These, then, are the divine mysteries of Christians.

This is the hidden power of our faith, which unbelievers, or those who believe with difficulty, or rather believe in part, do not see nor are able at all to see.

Symeon the New Theologian (949–1022 AD) [very slightly adapted] @ Mystagogy and Full of Grace and Truth and Preachers Institute.

Benedict XVI: Symeon the New Theologian on the Presence of Christ as the Source of Love Sunday, Jan 3 2010 

Symeon [949–1022] focuses his reflection on the presence of the Holy Spirit in those who are baptized and on the awareness they must have of this spiritual reality.

Christian life – he stresses – is intimate and personal communion with God; divine grace illumines the believer’s heart and leads him to the mystical vision of the Lord.

In this line, Symeon the New Theologian insists on the fact that true knowledge of God stems from a journey of interior purification, which begins with conversion of heart, thanks to the strength of faith and love; passes through profound repentance and sincere sorrow for one’s sins; and arrives at union with Christ, source of joy and peace, invaded by the light of his presence in us.

For Symeon, such an experience of divine grace is not an exceptional gift for some mystics, but the fruit of baptism in the life of every seriously committed faithful….

This holy Eastern monk calls us all to attention to the spiritual life, to the hidden presence of God in us, to honesty of conscience and purification, to conversion of heart, so that the Holy Spirit will be present in us and guide us.

If in fact we are justly preoccupied about taking care of our physical growth, it is even more important not to neglect our interior growth, which consists in knowledge of God, in true knowledge, not only taken from books, but interior, and in communion with God, to experience his help at all times and in every circumstance.

[…] One day an essential event occurred for his mystical experience. He began to feel like “a poor man who loves his brothers”.

He saw around him many enemies that wanted to set snares for him and harm him but despite this he felt in himself an intense movement of love for them. How to explain this?

Obviously, such love could not come from himself, but must spring from another source. Symeon understood that it came from Christ present in him and all was clarified for him:

He had the sure proof that the source of love in him was the presence of Christ and that to have in oneself a love that goes beyond one’s personal intentions indicates that the source of love is within.

Thus, on one hand, we can say that, without a certain openness to love, Christ does not enter in us, but, on the other, Christ becomes the source of love and transforms us.

Benedict XVI (b. 1927): On Symeon the New Theologian (translation by Zenit).


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