Beloved brothers and sisters,
CHRIST IS RISEN! TRULY HE IS RISEN! ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ ΑΝΕΣΤΗ! ΑΛΗΘΩΣ ΑΝΕΣΤΗ!
OUR PRAYER FOR TODAY
In that we have beheld the Resurrection of Christ, let us bow down before the Holy Lord Jesus, the Only Sinless One. Thy Cross do we adore, O Christ, and Thy Holy Resurrection we laud and glorify: for Thou are our God, and we know none other beside Thee, we call upon Thy Name. O come, all you faithful, let us adore Christ's Holy Resurrection: for lo, through the Cross is joy come into all the world. Ever blessing the Lord, let us sing His Resurrection: for in that He endured the Cross, He has destroyed Death by Death.
Hymn. Jesus having Risen from the grave, as He foretold, has given unto us life Eternal, and great mercy. Amen.
THE GRACE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
by Monk Markellos Karakallenos
The Holy Spirit is the source of the divine gifts and when He descended upon the holy Apostles, He gave them all the graces. Through them therefore every receptive and pure soul receives the spiritual gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Through the holy Apostles the Holy Spirit granted to the faithful, the believers of their preaching the knowledge of theology, of Divinity, and divinely to confess in true faith the indivisible and inseparable nature of Divinity, known by the Three Hypostases, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit has as vehicle and throne the souls of people. He approaches very delicately every soul and uses and sanctifies the physical characteristics and gifts of each soul. If the soul remains only in its physical state and does not enjoy through its purity the grace of the Holy Spirit, then it becomes deprived of His rich gift that corresponds to it. Without the supernatural grace of the Holy Spirit, the physical graces are not developed and especially the psychological make-up of the soul. The soul remains in this suffering stage and does not become renewed. It does not attain the capacity the Divine grace intends for it. The Divine grace is always urging towards the good and does not impose. Therefore, if the soul does not accept the invitation of the Divine grace and does not struggle to develop and multiply its talents, it denies itself, for it cannot reach the level it deserves. As a result on the Day of Judgment it will repent and will have to give account why it did not use properly its talents.
How can we be found worthy of the Grace of the Holy Spirit?
If we keep our soul clean from the passions and from evil and vile thoughts. "It is undoable (impossible) to become worthy to possess the Divine grace within us, if we do not first get rid of the passions which managed to capture our souls. For a container that earlier contained foul smelling liquid, if it is not washed well, it cannot be used to pour in it myrrh. First the existing contents must be poured out to enable to hold whatever will be poured in it later (Saint Basil the Great, explanation of Psalm 61:6).
Purge oh Lord the years that pull at my soul, through the operation of the grace of the Holy Spirit and brighten its robe and restore its health so that it may always turn with all its strength towards Your love and give praise.
The clean heart attracts to it the rays of the Holy Spirit and then the soul ethereally flies and ascends the Heavens. Wishing for the grace of the Holy Spirit, the Prophet David would say: "Give me wings like the pigeons and I shall fly and find rest" (Psalm 59:4).
Like the dew of dawn that settles on the petals of the flowers gives them beauty and life, so also the Divine grace as dew and a gentle breeze enters the depth of the soul and acts and consoles the soul and the body. It makes tears flow in the eyes and pours into the soul, grace in the form of tongues of fire.
When we recite the prayer of Jesus, the Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on me, the most sweet Name of our Lord brings peace to the heart and blooms and bears the fruit of the Holy Spirit. The fruit of the Holy Spirit is agape, joy, peace, longsuffering, virtue, kindness, faith, meekness, temperance (Galatians 5:23).
If we show this care then we shall receive the Grace of the Holy Spirit in proportion to our purity and we shall become intimates of Christ and not strangers and foreign to Him. In the present life we shall receive as betrothal the grace of the Holy Spirit which we shall enjoy more richly and purely in the Kingdom of Heaven through the grace and love of mankind of the Most Holy and Life-Creating Spirit to Whom is due all Glory, Honor, and Worship with the without beginning Father and His Logos [Word] of the same essence, unto the ages. Amen.
"For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith". [Galatians 5:5]
"If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another". [Galatians 5:25-26]
"And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, 'Abba, Father!'" [Galatians 4:6]
Orthodox Commentary: (4:6,7): The ongoing growth into adoption, being "an heir of God" (v.7), is called deification (theosis). This means we are becoming by grace what God is by nature. Each Person of the Holy Trinity, "Spirit, Son, and Father" (v.6), is involved in this process of transformation. Therefore, to become sons of God by grace, one must believe in and know the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
[Orthodox Study Bible, page 431]
With sincere agape in Our Risen Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
The sinner and unworthy servant of God