Excerpts from Symeon’s Discourse on the “Mystical Resurrection of Christ”

The following are excerpts from a discourse given by the Byzantine Christian monk and poet, Symeon the New Theologian (949-1022 AD), to the monks of the Monastery of St. Mamas.

The following are excerpts from a discourse given by the Byzantine Christian monk and poet, Symeon the New Theologian (949-1022 AD), to the monks of the Monastery of St. Mamas when he was the Abbot there. It is a combination of the translations from the Greek by Archbishop Basil Krivoshein, and Rev. C. J. De Catanzaro. I have added emphasis.


Brothers and fathers, already Easter, that joyous day, that day of all gladness and delight, the day of Christ’s Resurrection, has arrived in the annual cycle. Rather it occurs daily and eternally in those who know its mystery, and so has filled our hearts with ineffable joy and exultation…

…let us look and carefully examine what is the mystery of that resurrection of Christ our God which takes place mystically in us at all times, if we are willing, and how Christ is buried in us as in a tomb and how He unites Himself to our souls and rises again, raising us with Himself…

He unites Himself to our souls and raises them up, though they were undoubtedly dead, and then grants to him who has thus been raised with Christ to behold the glory of His mystical resurrection.

Christ’s Resurrection is thus our resurrection, ours who lie here below…

As has been said, Christ’s Resurrection and His glory are our glory. Through His resurrection in us it comes into being in us, is shown to us, and is seen by us

The resurrection of the soul is union with life. The body is dead and cannot live or be called alive unless it receives the living soul in itself and is joined to it… Likewise the soul cannot live unless it is ineffably and without confusion united to God, who is truly eternal Life. Before this union in knowledge, vision, and perception it is dead, even though it is endowed with intellect and is by nature immortal…

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…in spiritual things, unless the mind comes to the contemplation of the things that are above thought, it does not perceive the mystical workings of Divine Grace. He who has not arrived at contemplation in spiritual matters and claims that he perceives the things that are above intellect, word, and thought is like him whose eyes are blinded…

Most men believe in the resurrection of Christ, but very few have a clear vision of it… That most sacred formula which is daily on our lips does not say, “Having believed in Christ’s resurrection,” but, “Having beheld Christ’s resurrection, let us worship the Holy One…”

the resurrection of Christ takes place in each of us who believes, and that not once, but every hour… when Christ the Master arises in us, resplendent in array and flashing with the lightnings of incorruption and Deity. For the light-bringing Coming of the Spirit shows forth to us, as in early morning, the Master’s resurrection, or, rather, it grants us to see the Risen One Himself…

Those to whom the Risen Christ has revealed Himself, to them He has appeared spiritually, He has been shown to their spiritual eyes. When this happens to us through the Spirit He raises us up from the dead and gives us life. He grants us to see Him, who is immortal and indestructible. More than that, He grants us clearly to know Him who raises us up and glorifies us with Himself, as all the divine Scripture testifies.

These, then, are the Divine mysteries of Christians…

“He who loves Me… I and the Father will come and make Our home with him,” so that by His Coming He may raise from the dead him who has attained faith and give him life, and grant him to see Him who has risen in him and who has resurrected him.


A related quote from Symeon: “When men search for God with their bodily eyes they find Him nowhere, for He is invisible. But for those who ponder in the Spirit [i.e. contemplate/meditate] He is present everywhere. He is in all, yet beyond all.”

And another quote: “I cannot endure to be silent about the things I have seen, about the wonders of God I have known by fact and experience. Rather, I testify of them to all others as in God’s presence, and say with a loud voice, ‘Run, all of you, before the door of repentance is closed to you by death. Run, that you may take hold of it before you depart this life; make haste that you may receive it, knock, that your Master may open to you before you die, and that He may show himself to you.'”

Symeon’s poem “We Awaken in Christ’s Body” beautifully relates the mystical experience of the resurrection of Christ within us.


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