Monday, October 13, 2014

Simeon the New Theologian

Simeon the New Theologian (9491022) is a Byzantine monk, poet and mystic. He was born at Galatia, and educated at Constantinople.  In about 980, he became Abbott of the monastery at St. Mamas. He is one of three saints of the Orthodox church given the title theologianthe others being John the Apostle (John the Revelator), and Gregory of Nazianus.

Simeon's Hymns of Divine Loves describe his spiritual experiences.

We Awaken in Christ's Body

We awaken in Christ’s body
 as Christ awakens our bodies,
and my poor hand is Christ. He enters
my foot and is infinitely me.

I move my hand, and wonderfully
my hand becomes Christ, becomes all of Him
(for God is indivisibly
whole, seamless in his Godhood).

I move my foot, and at once
He appears in a flash of lightning.
Do my words seem blasphemous? – Then
open your heart to Him.

And let yourself receive the one
who is opening to you so deeply.
For if we genuinely love Him,
We wake up inside Christ’s body

Where all our body, all over,
every most hidden part of it,
is realized in joy as Him.
And he makes us utterly real.

And everything that is hurt, everything
that seemed to us dark, harsh, shameful,
maimed, ugly, irreparably
damaged, is in him transformed

and recognized as whole, lovely,
radiant in his light.
We awaken as the Beloved
in every last part of our body.

Entry written by D.S. Martin. His new poetry collection, Conspiracy of Light: Poems Inspired by the Legacy of C.S. Lewis, is available from Wipf & Stock as is his earlier award-winning collection, Poiema.