Symeon the New Theologian

Christian saint, monk, and theologian

Symeon the New Theologian (Greek: Συμεὼν ὁ Νέος Θεολόγος; 949–1022) was a Byzantine Christian monk and poet.


Philokalia (vol. 4), as translated and edited by G. E. H. Palmer, Philip Sherrard and Kallistos Ware (1999)
  • Arrogance cannot bear to see itself scorned and humility held in honor.
    • One Hundred and Fifty-three Practical and Theological Texts, in Philokalia, Text 13
  • One day, as he stood repeating more in his intellect than with his mouth the words, 'God, have mercy upon me, a sinner' (Luke 18:13), suddenly a profuse flood of divine light appeared above him and filled the whole room. As this happened the young man lost his bearings, forgetting whether he was in a house or under a roof; for he saw nothing but light around him and did not even know that he stood upon the earth. He had no fear of falling, or awareness of the world, nor did any of those things that beset men and bodily beings enter his mind. Instead he was wholly united to non-material light, so much so that it seemed to him that he himself had been transformed into light. Oblivious of all else, he was filled with tears and with inexpressible joy and gladness. Then his intellect ascended to heaven and beheld another light, more lucid than the first. Miraculously there appeared to him, standing close to that light, the holy, angelic elder of whom we have spoken and who had given him the short rule and the book.
    • "On Faith", p. 18
  • Then sit down in a quiet cell, in a corner by yourself, and do what I tell you. Close the door, and withdraw your intellect from everything worthless and transient. Rest your beard on your chest, and focus your physical gaze, together with the whole of your intellect, upon the centre of your belly or your navel. Restrain the drawing-in of breath through your nostrils, so as not to breathe easily, and search inside yourself with your intellect so as to find the place of the heart, where all the powers of the soul reside. To start with you will find there darkness and an impenetrable density. Later, when you persist and practise this task day and night, you will find, as though miraculously, an unceasing joy. For as soon as the intellect attains the place of the heart, at once it sees things of which it previously knew nothing. It sees the open space within the heart and it beholds itself entirely luminous and full of discrimination.
    • "The Three Methods of Prayer", pp. 72-73

External linksEdit

Wikipedia has an article about: