St. Symeon’s Really Good Question

St. Symeon is not a systematized theologian (and therefore not scholastic) but rather a theologian using his heart. He is a mystic! He uses seeing and feeling words to convey awareness of God beyond what the mind is capable of grasping on it’s own.

He feels that all Christians, according to the teaching of Jesus Christ as recorded in the New Testament, should directly experience the grace and indwelling of the Holy Trinity.

The important question that St. Symeon poses to his listeners (these are sermons after all) is not whether the Holy Spirit lives within them but whether they are consciously aware of the presence within through continued penitential conversion. – from the Introduction to The Discourses.

So let’s have the really good question… Are you consciously aware that the Holy Spirit lives in you through continued penitential conversion?

St. Symeon is not teaching a moral or philosophical system but a therapeutic model of people being healed by Jesus Christ. He is right in line with what has been taught everywhere at all times in the Orthodox Church. The Church is not a religion. It is the Body of Christ, the Church, the Kingdom of God and, as such, we see ascesis (exercises) and theoria (vision / contemplation of God) are the two main sermon themes. Ascesis and theoria for the healing of soul and body by uniting us to the Uncreated energies of the Holy Trinity.



Filed under Flames of Wisdom, Poems, Books and Reviews

3 responses to “St. Symeon’s Really Good Question

  1. David Felker

    Reframing was the main means of helping my clients discover their own mistakes in relationships. St. Symeon’s “reframing” was one of my personal reasons for becoming Eastern Orthodox.

    Stepping out of the rational framings of the west is a freeing from self-imposed bondage.

  2. Gosh, Father, you do ask some difficult questions!
    I think the answer is that I, at least, am aware of the Holy Spirit working in me on occasion. Sometimes several times a day perhaps, but not as the continual transformation that is probably possible – if we are to believe many saints.
    I’m minded of something that Fr Sophrony said, “the Gospel is this: if you ask Him, then the Holy Spirit will come and dwell in your heart and change you to be like Christ”. If you ask him.
    And we often get distracted, due to pride (see St Silouan on Pride as the source of all sin) and so stop asking.

  3. Tim

    Before I can answer, I must ask-
    What is meant by the phrase “continued penitential conversion”? I have my thoughts, but I wish to clearly understand what is being asked.

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