The Sarabite: Towards an Aesthetic Christianity

There is a continuous attraction, beginning with God, going to the world, and ending at last with God, an attraction which returns to the same place where it began as though in a kind of circle. -Marsilio Ficino

Monday, April 17, 2006

Surrexit Dominus Vere

I wish a happy Easter to all Western Christians! Indeed, for some of us it was a very blessed day, but more on that in another post.

St. Symeon the New Theologian, an abbot in Constantinople in the eleventh century, in one of his ascetical homilies, made a comment about this Byzantine prayer:

Having seen the Resurrection of Christ, let us worship the Holy Lord Jesus, the only sinless one. We worship your Cross, O Christ, and we praise and glorify your holy Resurrection. For you are our God; we know no other but you; we name you by name. Come, all the faithful, let us worship the holy Resurrection of Christ; for behold through the Cross, joy has come in all the world. Ever blessing the Lord, we sing his Resurrection. For having endured the Cross for us, by death he has destroyed death.

The prayer does not say, "Having believed in", but rather, "Having seen". How do we see the Resurrection of Christ? St. Symeon was a great advocate of the perceived reality of grace. We live by Faith, but we can be too cerebral about what that really means.

For St. Symeon, we see the Resurrection of Christ in ourselves, in our own hearts. At least for me, life in Christ has truly transformed me. I am not a saint, nor am I even close to perfect. There has been, in truth, a resurrection in my heart as soon as I came to believe.

No, I am not a "better" person. Faith doesn't cure male pattern baldness or make the sky seem bluer. It has happened though. And I have seen it. I thank God for it every day.

Scimus Christus surrexisse
A mortuis vere
Tu nobis Victor Rex miserere
Amen. Alleluia


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