Prophet of Prayer

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Today, March 12th, is the Feast Day of the Prophet of Prayer, Saint Symeon the New Theologian, whose prophetic writings have inspired pure prayer since his death in 1022.  His ‘Hymns of Love’ declare that love is the uncreated light that illumines seers, love the ineffable glory that deifies saints.  For the Prophet of Prayer, the New Covenant is a Covenant of Love, gift of grace and fruit of the Holy Spirit, which inspires prophets of prayer to sing wisdom songs of holy love.  ‘Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God, and everyone that loves is born of God and knows God’  (1 John 4:7). There is no fear in love for love is perfected in wisdom’s completeness, extinguishing fear (1 John 4:18).  The Spirit inspires prophecy with Christ’s uncreated wisdom, infusing prayer with glory of perfecting love, inspiring wisdom in the reign of the Name, empowering glorification with Spirit-filled love.

As gifts of grace, love and wisdom both point to Christ, who is at centre in the icon of the three angels of the Holy Trinity, pointing with the Spirit to the Father.  The Holy Spirit points to Christ at centre, as Christ bears witness as wisdom to the glory of the Father. The seven gifts of the Spirit are wisdom, understanding, counsel, strength, knowledge, confidence and awe-struck wonder, and the seven fruits of the Spirit are trust, mercy, gentleness, long-suffering, peace, joy and unselfish love.  Christ indwells his own with love, completing incompleteness with love’s perfecting completeness. Prophecy of prayer bears witness to the ineffable completeness of love, being rooted and grounded in love, knowing the breadth, length, depth and height of unceasing love, love’s radiant dimensions of co-inhering spheres.

Saint Symeon the New Theologian was the prophet of theophany and theophanic prayer, whose wisdom still inspires receptive Hesychast elders.  The ruling powers of this world reject the wisdom of Christ, his loving-kindness, his unenvying generosity, his long-suffering, his enduring patience, his unfailing love.  Prophecy and prayer gladly give way to love when wisdom knows as she is loved and known (1 Cor 13:12).  The uncreated light of wisdom and love were Saint Symeon’s beloved themes, spiritually purifying, illumining and deifying whoever truly listens to him.  As the prophet of prayer, he is the prophet of love, the prophet of prayer that loves with God’s unceasing love, awakening prophecy and prayer that reveal the inexhaustible mysteries of love.

Feast Day of Saint Symeon the New Theologian, March 12th 1022.