Simeon's O Lord, I Have Seen You - Return to "Gary's Personal Creed."
Simeon (or Symeon) the Theodidact (or Theologian) (949-1022) lived a dissolute, immoral life in Constantinople (in what is now known as Turkey). Eventually, he entered a monastery and was elected abbot. He practiced "hesychasm", the process of retiring inward by ceasing to register the senses, in order to achieve an experiential knowledge of God, not necessarily with the help of clerical guidance. This view antagonized monks and other church leaders, and Simeon was banned from Constantinople and died a recluse.
I borrowed "The Harper Collins Book of Prayers" from my pastor and flipped through the pages looking for anything that remotely appealed to me. Most of the prayers seemed to focus on God's love in the face of our human imperfections. There's nothing wrong with that, but somehow, we have to drag our sinful bodies out of bed each day, and all that self-effacement was getting me down. Finally, I found this prayer by Simeon. Although the prayer is a thousand years old, the translation is recent and I do not have permission to reuse it (but copyright laws allow short excerpts). The prayer places Simeon is a room reading the Scriptures when the candlelight grows around him:
Then suddenly, I realized it was you, Lord;
You were embracing me.
Your light and your warmth filled the room.
Your arms held me.
And near the end,
I thank you that you revealed yourself to me.
O Lord, I have seen you!
This is Simeon's resurrection experience. It is like the experiences of Mary Magdalene and the eleven. For each of us, maybe the tomb is empty, or maybe Jesus joins us for dinner, or maybe Jesus just appears for a moment. I have not been able to find this prayer on the Internet.
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