“To be able to sing, you need a certain frame of mind. A harmony in your soul. The one who goes to rob somebody that man cannot sing. Not even the one who does to somebody an injustice or the one whose soul is careworn by passions and enmity and has a faithless soul.”
Corneliu Zelea Codreanu
Father DUMITRU STĂNILOAE (1903-1993)
There are three representative elements for the Romanian spirituality, with no equivalence in the culture of other countries: the ‘colinda’, the ‘doina’ and the ‘dor’ (the carol [wassailing], ‘doina’, and the longing).
The longing is a sentiment hard to define. It doesn’t mean only to think gladly of your beloved who’s remote; it is not only the consciousness of some necessity to be with her/him; it is not only the transfiguration of her/his face, because of the distance and the need to be with him/her. Into the longing is present in a certain manner and to a high degree a gentleness, an indescribable feeling, in which the heart consumes itself for the sake of its beloved.
The longing is (semantically) close to tenderness but has a more spiritual disposition than the former. The longing is the distance's gentleness hampered by meditation.
The longing is the evidence of a deep affectionate and lucid communion into which the Romanian people are living.
‘Cântecul de dor şi jale’ (‘the song of longing and sadness’) is sang by the Romanian whenever he’s lonely. His chorus singing is for shows, but not from a spontaneous propensity of to voice the real longing.
The German doesn’t sing when he’s lonely, for him the song is an organized matter, a chorus, an aesthetics, rhythmicity actually is entertainment. He sings solo, in chorus, for the same harmonic and aesthetic effect. The Russian sings both alone and in chorus or solo. When he sings in chorus or solo, he is haunted by the effect of harmony and power which transcends the self. Because his solo is depersonalized, being integrated in the harmony order. The Greek and the representatives of the Mediterranean peoples also sing when they are lonely, but these songs don’t have in their core the painful nostalgia of the longing; they are too declamatory (or even rhetorical) to express that nostalgia.
In chorus, the Romanian doesn’t sing solo but together with everybody in a mood in which each voice can be heard without losing the harmony. When they sing together the Romanians sing in turn, but not solo, that is accompanied by a chorus. He sings in chorus for the sake of being together without losing oneself into an impersonal harmony. The human frailty is more than an impersonal harmony. He may simply sing in turn to make oneself conspicuous each one modulating his voice for a common song in a personal manner. The Romanian is personal in the longing song, and in the song performed in common, or in turn, but his person is bound to the other persons. The Romanian longing stands in connection with the integrant personalism of our people, and may be with that of the countries from Eastern and South-Eastern Europe, participant of the same Thracian and Slavonic-Byzantine spirituality.
From “Reflections on Romanian spirituality”
Writings: “Some Historical Landmarks of the hesychasm in Romanian Orthodoxy”, “The Life and Teaching of Saint Gregorius Palamas”, “The Orthodox Spirituality: The Mystics and Ascetics”, “Jesus Christ the Light of the World and the Deification of Man”, “Jesus Christ or the Restauration of Man”, “The prayer of Jesus and the Experience of The Holy Spirit”, “The Holy Trinity or the Love Was in the Beginning”, “The Orthodox Dogmatics”. He translated the “Philocalia” (in twelve volumes), “The Ladder of The Spiritual Ascent of Saint John Climacus” a.s.o.