“We awaken in Christ’s body as Christ awakens our bodies”

We awaken in Christ’s body
as Christ awakens our bodies,
and my poor hand is Christ, He enters
my foot, and is infinitely me.

I move my hand, and wonderfully
my hand becomes Christ, becomes all of Him
(for God is indivisibly
whole, seamless in His Godhood).

I move my foot, and at once
He appears like a flash of lightning.
Do my words seem blasphemous? — Then
open your heart to Him

and let yourself receive the one
who is opening to you so deeply.
For if we genuinely love Him,
we wake up inside Christ’s body

where all our body, all over,
every most hidden part of it,
is realized in joy as Him,
and He makes us, utterly, real,

and everything that is hurt, everything
that seemed to us dark, harsh, shameful,
maimed, ugly, irreparably
damaged, is in Him transformed

and recognized as whole, as lovely,
and radiant in His light
we awaken as the Beloved
in every last part of our body.

St Symeon the New Theologian


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10 Responses to “We awaken in Christ’s body as Christ awakens our bodies”

  1. Eric M says:

    This is captivating. Could you share the source?


  2. it’s in his Hymns, but i don’t know which volume. One of these, if you read greek or french:

    It was actually the first quotation from St Symeon that i ever ran across, and i’ve remembered it ever since.

    What is the source of the manuscript illumination, above?


    • Fr Aidan Kimel says:

      John, I’m afraid I do not remember the source. I came across it months or years ago and saved it to photobucket, but did not keep a record of where I found it.


    • Jonathan says:

      I think that ms illumination is in Armenian. I believe that’s Armenian script at the top, which I can’t read.


      • Jonathan says:

        I take it back, that’s probably not Armenian. Could be Slavonic. It looks like it should be Greek, but I can’t read it if it is. Might be Coptic. Clearly, I don’t know the first thing about ms illumination from the eastern Christian world, and this image is clearly eastern Christian of one sort or another. But I do find it fascinating and would love to know the provenance. The figures are very different from those I’m familiar with.


  3. also possibly in Maloney’s translation.


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