Monday, January 27, 2014

St Symeon and Light

Symeon the New Theologian is recognized as the first Byzantine mystic to freely share his own mystical experiences. Somewhere around age 20, he was overcome by an ecstatic state in which, as with many other mystics, he experienced God as a living presence of radiant divine Light. That direct personal experience was to become one of Symeon's central teachings.

"Suddenly He came and united Himself to me in a manner quite ineffable; He entered into every part of my being, as fire penetrates iron, or light streams through glass."
"I rejoice in His love, and in His beauty, and I feel myself overwhelmed with divine happiness and sweetness. I am filled with light and glory; my face shines like that of my Beloved and all my members glow with heavenly light. Then I am lovelier than the loveliest, richer than the richest, stronger than the strongest, greater than the rulers of the world, more honourable than anything visible, and not only more honourable than the earth and all that is in it, but also than heaven itself and everything it holds." 
"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." 
"I thank thee, O God, that Thou, Who reign over all, art now in very truth and unchangeably one spirit with me".

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