St Symeon the New Theologian was born in 949 to parents who were provincial nobles. From the age of 14 he had as a spiritual father St Symeon the Studite, and after a long wait eventually joined the famous monastey of the Studion when he was 27. He eventually became the abbot of St. Mamas monastery in Constantinople.
St. Symeon emphasises a return to the essence or spirit of the early Orthodox Church, and not merely depend on or shelter under the outward forms of Church life. His burning conviction is that the Christian life must be more than just a routine or habit, but rather it should be a personal experience of the living Christ. St. Symeon urges both monks and baptised laity back to a living spiritual experience of the Triune, calling himself the “enthusiastic zealot” who has personal, mystical experiences.
The Orthodox Church has granted the title of “Theologian”, because he is one of a few, in the history of Christianity, to ‘know’ God. (The other two Theologians are St. John the Evangelist, and St. Gregory of Nazianzus) St Symeon’s feast in celebrated on 12 March.
1. Faith without Works is dead.
2. Faith with Works is more necessary than performing Signs.
3. He who has Faith does not store up treasures.
4. He who has Faith distributes his money to the poor believing he will receive a hundredfold and Eternal life.
5. He who has Faith is not proud.
6. He who has Faith does not laugh but mourns for his sins.
7. He who has Faith does not cause strife but has meekness.
8. He who has Faith hates injustice and loves justice.
9. He who has Faith does not quarrel but reconciles as a peacemaker.
10. He who has Faith endures every temptation and does not blaspheme.
11. He who has Faith is not wrathful but long-suffering.
12. He who has Faith keeps chastity and purity.
13. He who has Faith does not scandalize but ministers to all without complaint.
14. He who has Faith does not take a false oath.
15. He who has Faith is not negligent in prayers and Church services.
16. He who has Faith does not judge anyone.
17. He who has Faith walks the narrow and sorrowful path.
18. He who has Faith does not love the World.
19. He who has Faith does not remain unrepentant over his transgressions but repents and mourns.
20. He who has Faith is not wasteful and luxuriant but has remembrance of Death and the future Dread Judgment.
21. He who remembers these prays unceasingly, fasts always, abstains and prepares for his departure.
22. He who has Faith loves the Lord and hates cunning things.
23. He who has Faith does not have rancor, neither does he return evil for evil, but loves those who hate him, does good to those who do him evil, blesses those who curse him, tolerates persecutors, bears blasphemers, thinks no evil, and has genuine love.
24. He who has Faith does nothing with hypocrisy, but everything for the Lord’s sake.
25. He who has Faith loves those who believe correctly.
26. He who has Faith does not disobey the Divine words.
27. He who has Faith does not show insincere praise or partiality.
28. He who has Faith does not exalt when praised.
29. He who has Faith and has renounced the mundane life does not return to it.
30. He who has Faith does not accept cunning but struggles for Christ and the Truth.
31. He who has Faith loves the believers of correct Faith.
32. He who has Faith speaks truth and allows no falsehood to come from his mouth.
33. He who has Faith does not have greed but rather mercy and charity.
34. He who has Faith does not partake unworthily of the Divine Sacrament, but purifies himself from every defilement; from gluttony, from rancor, from cunning works, from immodest words, from unseemly laughter, from shameful thoughts, from every impurity and evil action, and so receives the King of Glory.
35. He who has Faith does not slander or revile his brethren but rather compliments.
36. He who has Faith follows correctly the path of God’s Commandments.
37. He who believes Truly, believes not in tongue but in heart.
38. He who believes Truly, is a worker of good.
39. If you believe, Dear soul, flee from sin.