Divine Eros: Hymns of Saint Symeon the New Theologian (Popular Patristics)

Category: Music
Author: Daniel K. Griggs
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by Trisagion_und_Isolde   2019-11-17

Ah thats very intersting and intuitive about Mewithoutyou. I wouldn't be surprised as I've heard him quote or reference a handful of classic spiritual texts.

St Symeon the New Theologian is my favorite author and I find everything he writes to be the most beautiful and inspiring texts I've read. He's a medevial Byzantine theologian and one of three writers given the formal title of theologian in the Eastern Orthodox Church.

If you have Android, I'm sure Apple has something similar, download an app in the Google store called the Philokalia. It's a collection of texts and there will be a section written by St Symeon the New Theologian. These are not poems, but still beautiful.

This poem comes from a collection of hymns he wrote called the Divine Eros which is over 400 pages of poems. It isn't free, but it isnt expensive and I think it's something I'll never stop reading. Also the paper back is a very sturdy and high quality paper back that will last a long time.

https://www.amazon.com/Divine-Eros-Theologian-Popular-Patristics/dp/0881413496/ref=mp_s_a_1_12?keywords=orthodox+hymns+book&qid=1559123346&s=gateway&sprefix=orthodox+hy&sr=8-12

On a side note, you might like this dialogue written down after a guy met an Orthodox forest hermit in 18th century Russia.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL_AxTQjy1wSSYgIcpjYRlz81mEnqe0GIl

by Trisagion_und_Isolde   2019-11-17

I don't think there would be anything wrong with male companionship, but I think you know it wouldn't be appropriate to do some of those things with a companion if you were married to someone else. And I think that mindset is needed to keep you out of a situation where you might hurt yourself or another.

Traditionally, Christians who don't marry, will approach life in the mindset that they are married to Christ, it's very central to monasticism. Maybe consider keeping that in mind.

Also this may seem out of the blue, but you should by a copy of a hymnal book by St. Symeon the Theologian, one of the 3 most honored mystics in the Orthodox Church. It's called the Divine Eros and it might be illuminating for you.

https://www.amazon.com/Divine-Eros-Theologian-Popular-Patristics/dp/0881413496/ref=mp_s_a_1_12?keywords=orthodox+hymns+book&qid=1559123346&s=gateway&sprefix=orthodox+hy&sr=8-12

>Symeon the New Theologian was a Tenth-Century Greek monk and ascetic writer. Among his writings, his Hymns are inspiring poetry of timeless value. No thoughtful reader  can respond to them with indifference. The Hymns challenge the reader to internalize Christian values, even to embrace the Christ event as an individual experience. 

>The Hymns are well suited for devotional reading, but they are not mere devotional tracts; they include time-honored Christian doctrine expressed in a manner that is all the  more meaningful for their poetic beauty. 

>Symeon's Hymns are an expression of  spiritual reading at its best, that is, they  are Symeon's interpretation of his life and his  relationship with God in light of Scripture and  the Fathers. Therein lies a strength of Symeon's  Hymns: with heartfelt zeal and biblical imagery,  Symeon makes the doctrines of the Fathers intimately relevant for the individual.

by Trisagion_und_Isolde   2019-11-17

I would suggest the poetry of St. Symeon the New Theologian, Erphem the Syrian, and Gregory the Theologian. Forgive me, these aren't free, but I think they are worth the investment and they aren't too expensive. Especially if you don't buy all of them at once, but consider these.

https://www.amazon.com/Divine-Eros-Theologian-Popular-Patristics/dp/0881413496/ref=sr_1_1?crid=1KALRHLI1LMSA&keywords=divine+eros+symeon&qid=1560310995&s=gateway&sprefix=divine+eros+%2Caps%2C139&sr=8-1

https://www.amazon.com/Spiritual-Psalter-St-Ephraim-Syrian/dp/0912927402/ref=sr_1_2?crid=DHDXLQFK2BFV&keywords=ephrem+the+syrian&qid=1560311070&s=gateway&sprefix=ephram+the+sy%2Caps%2C144&sr=8-2

https://www.amazon.com/God-Man-Theological-Nazianzus-Patristics/dp/0881412201/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=gregory+on+god+and+man&qid=1560311054&s=gateway&sr=8-2

Here is one of the poems from St Symeon

>Come, true light. Come, eternal life. Come, hidden mystery. Come, nameless treasure. come, ineffable reality. Come, incomprehensible face. Come, everlasting exultation. Come, unfading light. come, trusty expectation of all who are going to be saved. Come, awakening of those who sleep. Come, resurrection of the dead. Come, Might One who always creates, who re-creates and who transforms all things by his will alone. Come, invisible and untouchable, and in every way intangible. Come, You Who always remain immutable, and Who at every hour are wholly altered, and are coming to us who lie in hell, You Who are above the heavens. Come, most beloved name repeated again and again, a name entirely forbidden for us to speak or to know the very person You are, the kind or quality. Come, eternal joy. Come, imperishable crown. Come, purple of our great God and King. Come, crystalline cincture set with gems. Come, unapproachable sandal. Come, royal purple robe and truly autocratic right hand! Come, You Who separated me from everyone and made me alone on the Earth. Come, You Who have become desire itself in me and Who made me desire You, the utterly unapproachable one. Come, my breath and my life. Come consolation of my dejected soul. Come, my joy, and glory, and endless luxury.

>I thank You because You have become one spirit with me, unmixing, unmoved, immutable God over all things, and because You yourself have become the all in all for me, utterly inexpressible food, and utterly without expense, food that is endlessly overflowing the lips of my soul , and gushing out in the fountain of my heart, garment flashing forth and burning up the demons, purification through incorruptible and holy tears that wash me out, tears that You give freely to those who You visit. I thank You because You have become an unfading light and an unsetting sun to me, You Who have nowhere to hide, Who fill the universe with your glory. For You have never been hidden from anyone, but we always hide ourselves from You, not wishing to come to You. For where would You hide, You Who nowhere have a place of rest? Why would You hide? You Who never turn away anyone at all, and You do not turn from anyone of them. And so now Master, dwell in me and inhabit me, and remain continually, and inseparably in me you slave, until my death, Good One, so that I also may be found both in my departure and after my departure in You, Good One, and I shall reign with You, God over all things!

>Remain, Master, and let me not be alone, so that when my enemies come, always seeking to devour my soul, when they find You remaining in me, they shall flee entirely, and shall have no strength against me, when they see you Who are more powerful than everything , seated within the home of my humbled soul. Verily Master, When You remembered me, when I was in the world of my ignorance, and You yourself picked me out, and separated me for the world, and set me before the face of your glory. So now also keep within, always standing upright and immovable in your dwelling with me. So that watching You continually, I the corpse may live; and holding You, I, a poor hired man, will always be rich, even richer than all kings; and eating and drinking You, and every hour being vested wit You, I will be reveling in unspeakable holy things. For You are every good, and every glory, and every enjoyment, and to You glory is fitting, You the Holy, Consubstantial and life-giving Trinity. The Trinity in Father, and Son, and Holy Spirit venerated, and proclaimed, and worshiped and served by all the faithful now, and always forever and ever. Amen.

>- St. Symeon the New Theologian - The Mystical Prayer.

by Trisagion_und_Isolde   2019-11-17

Do things with humility and ask yourself if you are doing as such.

You could also take the time to understand what love (eros) is from a historical Christian view by reading the Song of Songs (Songs of Solomon) from the Bible or St. Symeon the New Theologian's Hymns of the Divine Eros. These things can also tell you things about the faith, but they will also tell you things about love and how to love better.

by Trisagion_und_Isolde   2019-11-17

Well here is an article on St. John Chrysostom's views of eros.

https://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2014/04/divine-eros-according-to-saint-john.html?m=1

His views are found in other Greek Fathers. Most notably in my opinion in the poetry of st. Symeon the New Theologian. After reading the above article, it'll help illuminate how st. Symeon understands what he is writing and feeling.

>Come, true light. Come, eternal life. Come, hidden mystery. Come, nameless treasure. come, ineffable reality. Come, incomprehensible face. Come, everlasting exultation. Come, unfading light. come, trusty expectation of all who are going to be saved. Come, awakening of those who sleep. Come, resurrection of the dead. Come, Might One who always creates, who re-creates and who transforms all things by his will alone. Come, invisible and untouchable, and in every way intangible. Come, You Who always remain immutable, and Who at every hour are wholly altered, and are coming to us who lie in hell, You Who are above the heavens. Come, most beloved name repeated again and again, a name entirely forbidden for us to speak or to know the very person You are, the kind of quality. Come, eternal joy. Come, imperishable crown. Come, purple of our great God and King. Come, crystalline cincture set with gems. Come, unapproachable sandal. Come, royal purple robe and truly autocratic right hand! Come, You Who separated me from everyone and made me alone on the Earth. Come, You Who have become desire itself in me and Who made me desire You, the utterly unapproachable one. Come, my breath and my life. Come consolation of my dejected soul. Come, my joy, and glory, and endless luxury.
>
>I think You because You have become one spirit with me, unmixing, unmoved, immutable God over all things, and because You yourself have become the all in all for me, utterly inexpressible food, and utterly without expense, food that is endlessly overflowing the lips of my soul , and gushing out in the fountain of my heart, garment flashing forth and burning up the demons, purification through incorruptible and holy tears that wash me out, tears that You give freely to those who You visit. I thank You because You have become an unfading light and an unsetting sun to me, You Who have nowhere to hide, Who fill the universe with your glory. For You have never been midden from anyone, but we always hide ourselves from You, not wishing to come to You. For where would You hide, You Who nowhere have a place of rest? Why would You hide? You Who never turn away anyone at all, and You do not turn from anyone of them. And so now Master, dwell in me and inhabit me, and remain continually, and inseparably in me you slave, until my death, Good One, so that I also may be found both in my departure and after my departure in You, Good One, and I shall reign with You, God over all things!
>
> Remain, Master, and let me not be alone, so that when my enemies come, always seeking to devour my soul, when the find You remaining in me, they shall flee entirely, and shall have no strength against me, when they see you Who are more powerful than everything , seated within the home of my humbled soul. Verily Master, When You remembered me, when I was in the world of my ignorance, and You yourself picked me out, and separated me for the world, and set me before the face of your glory. So now also keep within, always standing upright and immovable in your dwelling with me. So that watching You continually, I the corpse may live; and holding You, I, a poor hired man, will always be rich, even richer than all kings; and eating and drinking You, and every hour being vested wit You, I will be reveling in unspeakable holy things. For You are every good, and every glory, and every enjoyment, and to You glory is fitting, You the Holy, Consubstantial and life-giving Trinity. The Trinity in Father, and Son, and Holy Spirit venerated, and proclaimed, and worshiped and served by all the faithful now, and always forever and ever. Amen.
>
>- St. Symeon the New Theologian - The Mystical Prayer.

He has a 400 page hymnal book on the Divine Eros if you are interested in more of the same.

by Trisagion_und_Isolde   2019-11-17

It's easy to miss this bibical imagry and think it's, oddly, just in the Song of Psalms, but look just how much the imagry of the bridge, bridegroom, and wedding feast appear in scripture.

https://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Bridegroom

Eros is a kind of madness, of an explicitly sexual erotic variety. It's weird for our culture to separate the erotic from the sexual, but a number of Greek Fathers did, and I believe Syriac but I'm not as familiar.

Eros is a kind of madness/irrational/arational, non intellectual, sensual desire to be drawn out of oneself and into another in a state of communion with the other. Here is something on St. John Chrysostom on the divine eros followed by a poem from st. Symeon the New Theologian from a collection of hyms called the Divine Eros.

https://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2014/04/divine-eros-according-to-saint-john.html?m=1

>Come, true light. Come, eternal life. Come, hidden mystery. Come, nameless treasure. come, ineffable reality. Come, incomprehensible face. Come, everlasting exultation. Come, unfading light. come, trusty expectation of all who are going to be saved. Come, awakening of those who sleep. Come, resurrection of the dead. Come, Might One who always creates, who re-creates and who transforms all things by his will alone. Come, invisible and untouchable, and in every way intangible. Come, You Who always remain immutable, and Who at every hour are wholly altered, and are coming to us who lie in hell, You Who are above the heavens. Come, most beloved name repeated again and again, a name entirely forbidden for us to speak or to know the very person You are, the kind of quality. Come, eternal joy. Come, imperishable crown. Come, purple of our great God and King. Come, crystalline cincture set with gems. Come, unapproachable sandal. Come, royal purple robe and truly autocratic right hand! Come, You Who separated me from everyone and made me alone on the Earth. Come, You Who have become desire itself in me and Who made me desire You, the utterly unapproachable one. Come, my breath and my life. Come consolation of my dejected soul. Come, my joy, and glory, and endless luxury.
>
>I think You because You have become one spirit with me, unmixing, unmoved, immutable God over all things, and because You yourself have become the all in all for me, utterly inexpressible food, and utterly without expense, food that is endlessly overflowing the lips of my soul , and gushing out in the fountain of my heart, garment flashing forth and burning up the demons, purification through incorruptible and holy tears that wash me out, tears that You give freely to those who You visit. I thank You because You have become an unfading light and an unsetting sun to me, You Who have nowhere to hide, Who fill the universe with your glory. For You have never been midden from anyone, but we always hide ourselves from You, not wishing to come to You. For where would You hide, You Who nowhere have a place of rest? Why would You hide? You Who never turn away anyone at all, and You do not turn from anyone of them. And so now Master, dwell in me and inhabit me, and remain continually, and inseparably in me you slave, until my death, Good One, so that I also may be found both in my departure and after my departure in You, Good One, and I shall reign with You, God over all things!
>
> Remain, Master, and let me not be alone, so that when my enemies come, always seeking to devour my soul, when the find You remaining in me, they shall flee entirely, and shall have no strength against me, when they see you Who are more powerful than everything , seated within the home of my humbled soul. Verily Master, When You remembered me, when I was in the world of my ignorance, and You yourself picked me out, and separated me for the world, and set me before the face of your glory. So now also keep within, always standing upright and immovable in your dwelling with me. So that watching You continually, I the corpse may live; and holding You, I, a poor hired man, will always be rich, even richer than all kings; and eating and drinking You, and every hour being vested wit You, I will be reveling in unspeakable holy things. For You are every good, and every glory, and every enjoyment, and to You glory is fitting, You the Holy, Consubstantial and life-giving Trinity. The Trinity in Father, and Son, and Holy Spirit venerated, and proclaimed, and worshiped and served by all the faithful now, and always forever and ever. Amen.
>
>- St. Symeon the New Theologian - The Mystical Prayer.

He has a 400 page hymnal book on the Divine Eros if you are interested in more of the same.