The Discourses

Front Cover
Paulist Press, 1980 - Religion - 396 pages

"A major new project...to reengage people with their own spiritual roots...the first contemporary fresh translations from the classic works of mysticism in the Roman Catholic, Protestant, Eastern Orthodox, Islamic and American Indian traditions."
--G. W. Cornell, Associated Press

Symeon the New Theologian: The Discourses translation by C.J. DeCatanzaro, introduction by George Maloney, S.J., preface by Basile Krivocheine

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 received Him as light, do so 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."

SYMEON THE NEW THEOLOGIAN (942-1022)

Father George Maloney in his Introduction to this volume focuses directly on the special importance of St. Symeon and on how similar the religious situation of his era is to our own. "Concretely, the battle of two opposing views of theology centered around St. Symeon and his mystical apophatic approach of the experiencing of God immanently present to the individual, as opposed to the "head trip" scholastic theology as represented by Archbishop Stephen of Nicomedia, the official theologian at the court of Constantinople. Stephen represented the abstract, philosophical type of theologizing while Symeon strove to restore theology to its pristine mystical tendency as a wisdom infused by the Holy Spirit into the Christian after he had been thoroughly purified through a rigorous asceticism and a state of constant repentance."

This great spiritual master of Eastern Christianity was an abbot, spiritual director of renown, theologian and important church reformer. These Discourses which form the central work of his life were preached by St. Symeon to his monks during their morning Matins ritual. They treat such basic spiritual themes as repentance, detachment, renunciation, the works of charity, impassiblity, remembrance of death, sorrow for sins, the practice of God's commandments, mystical union with the indwelling Trinity, faith and contemplation.
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Selected pages

Contents

OF CHARITY
41
TO CHRIST THROUGH THE BEATITUDES
47
FAITHFULNESS TO MONASTIC VOWS
60
ON TEARS OF PENITENCE
70
ON PENITENCE
90
THE EXAMPLE AND SPIRIT OF SYMEON THE PIOUS
119
ON ATTACHMENT TO ONES KIN
130
ON PERFECT LOVE AND WHAT IT IS IN ACTION
143
THE IDEAL SPIRITUAL GUIDE
231
ON THE REMEMBRANCE OF DEATH
238
ON FAITH
243
ON PENITENCE AND THE FEAR OF GOD
254
ON SPIRITUAL KNOWLEDGE
261
THE INTERACTION OF BODY AND SOUL
267
THE DAY OF THE MONK
274
THE LEAST OF THE COMMANDMENTS
284

ON WORKS OF MERCY
150
PERFECT HOLINESS
162
ON FASTING
167
OF ABSTINENCE AND ENDURANCE
173
OF CHRISTS RESURRECTION
181
ON PENITENCE AND THE BEGINNING OF THE MONASTIC LIFE
186
THE LIGHT OF GOD
193
ECSTASY IN THE LIGHT
198
OF CONTEMPLATION REVELATION AND THE PRAYER OF ILLUMINATION
204
ON WORTHY AND UNWORTHY SUPERIORS
209
SYMEONS SPIRITUAL CONCERN
226
DISCERNMENT LIGHT AND PRIESTHOOD
295
THE HERESY OF PUSILLANIMITY
308
ON PENITENCE
318
SELFEXAMINATION ON THE BEATITUDES
329
BLASPHEMY AGAINST THE HOLY GHOST
335
ON PARTAKING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
339
SYMEONS APOLOGIA
347
THE MYSTICAL EXPERIENCE OF GRACE IN THE FORM OF A THANKSGIVING
359
IN THE FORM OF A THANKSGIVING AT THE THRESHOLD OF TOTAL ILLUMINATION
368
INDEX TO INTRODUCTION AND NOTES
379
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