On Acquistion of the Holy Spirit (Final)

My beloved spiritual children in Christ Our Only True God and Our Only True Savior,
CHRIST IS IN OUR MIDST! HE WAS, IS, AND EVER SHALL BE. Ο ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ ΕΝ ΤΩ ΜΕΣΩ ΗΜΩΝ! ΚΑΙ ΗΝ ΚΑΙ ΕΣΤΙ ΚΑΙ ΕΣΤΑΙ.

A PRAYER OF SAINT BASIL THE GREAT

Blessed are You, O Lord God Almighty, You have illumined the day with the light of the sun and the night You have brightened with the rays of the fiery moon; You have made us worthy to go through this day and to approach the beginning of the night. Hear our petitions and those of all Your people, and forgive us all our voluntary and involuntary sins, receive our evening prayers, and send down upon the people of Your inheritance the multitude of Your mercy and compassionate love, encompass us with Your holy Angels. Arm us with the weapons of Your Righteousness. Outline us with the mark of Your Truth. Guard us from every circumstance and influence of the adversary. Grant us once again, O Lord, that this present evening, together with the approaching night, and all the days of our life, will be perfect, holy, peaceful, sinless and without any scandalous imaginations. We pray for this through the intercessions of the Holy Theotokos and all the Saints who have pleased You through the ages. Amen.

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Apolytikion of Pentecost. Plagal of Fourth Tone

Blessed art Thou, O Christ our God, Who hast shown forth the fishermen as supremely wise by sending down upon them the Holy Spirit, and through them didst draw the world into Thy net, O Befriender of man, glory be to Thee.

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Kontakion of Pentecost. Plagal of Fourth Tone

Once, when He descended and confounded the tongue, the Most High, divided the nations; and when He divided the tongues of fire, He called all men into unity; and with one accord we glorify the All-Holy Spirit.

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TODAY'S SYNAXARION (THE COMMEMORATION OF TODAY'S SAINTS):

On June 6th Our Holy Orthodox Christian Church commemorates, honors, and entreats the holy intercessions of the following Saints, Forefathers, Fathers, Patriarchs, Prophets, Apostles, Preachers, Evangelists, Martyrs, Confessors, Ascetics, Teachers and of every righteous soul made perfect in Our Holy Orthodox Christian faith: Our Righteous Father Hilarion the New, Abbot of the Monastery of Dalmatus; St. Attalus the Wonderworker; Holy Five Virgins and Righteous Martyrs of Caesarea in Palestine: Martha, Mary, Cyria, Valeria, and Marcia; St. Anoub of Egypt, the Worker of Signs; Saint Gelasius was perfected in martyrdom by the sword; Holy Virgin-Martyrs Archelais, Thecla, and Susanna, who were beheaded at Salerno in the persecution of Diocletian; the recovery of the holy relics of our Righteous Father Varlaam of Khutyn; Saint Jonas, Bishop of Perm; our righteous Father Paisius of Uglich; our Righteous Father Jonas of Klimentsy.

+By the holy intercessions of Your Saints, Holy Martyrs, Holy Fathers, Holy Mothers, Holy Ascetics, Holy Confessors, Holy Evangelists, Holy Wonderworkers, O Christ Our God, have mercy on us and save us. Amen.

OUR RIGHTEOUS FATHER HILARION THE NEW, EGOUMENOS (ABBOT) OF THE MONASTERY OF DALMATUS. Saint Hilarion, the fervent zealot for the veneration of the holy icons, was born in 775 AD and had Cappadocia as his homeland. About 806-811 AD he became Egoumenos (Abbot) of the Monastery of Dalmatus, but was exiled by the Emperor Leo the Armenian, and later again by Theophilus; he was set free by the pious Empress Theodora, and again became Egoumenos (Abbot) of the Monastery of Dalmatus form 843-845 AD, until the time of his repose.

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TODAY'S SACRED SCRIPTURAL READINGS ARE THE FOLLOWING:

Holy Epistle Lesson: Romans 1:7-12
Holy Gospel Lesson: St. Matthew 5:42-48

INSPIRING WORDS FROM THE HOLY ASCETICS, HOLY FATHERS AND HOLY MOTHERS OF THE CHURCH:

"The desire to glorify god is naturally planted in all rational beings." (St. Basil the Great)

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ON ACQUISITION OF THE HOLY SPIRIT (FINAL)

By Saint Seraphim of Sarov

Grace is Light

"And I must further explain, your Godliness, the difference between the operations of the Holy Spirit Who dwells mystically in the hearts of those who believe in our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ and the operations of the darkness of sin which at the suggestion and instigation of the devil, acts predatorily in us. The Spirit of God reminds us of the words of our Lord Jesus Christ and always acts triumphantly with Him, gladdening our hearts and guiding our steps into the way of peace, while the false, diabolical spirit reasons in the opposite way to Christ, and its actions in us are rebellious, and full of the lust of the flesh, the lust of the yes and the pride of life.

"And whoever lives and believes in Me will never die" (St. John 11:26). He who has the grace of the Holy Spirit in reward for right faith in Christ, even if on account of human frailty his soul were to die for some sin or other, yet he will not die for ever, but he will be raised by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ "who takes away the sin of the world" (St. John 1:29), and freely gives grace upon grace. Of this grace, which was manifested to the whole world and to our human race by the God-man, it is said in the Gospel: "In Him was life, and the life was the light of men" (St. John 1:4); and further: "and the light shines in the darkness; and the darkness has never swallowed it" (St. John 1:5). This means that the grace of the Holy Spirit which is granted at baptism in the name of the Father and the Son and of the Holy Spirit, in spite of man's fall into sin, in spite of the darkness surrounding our soul, nevertheless shines in our hearts with the divine Light (which has existed from time immemorial) of the inestimable merits of Christ. In the event of a sinner's impenitence this Light of Christ cries to the Father: "Abba, father! Be not angry with this impenitence to the end (of his life)." Then, at the sinners conversion to the way of repentance, it effaces completely all trace of past sin and clothes the former sinner once more in a robe of incorruption spun from the grace of the Holy Spirit. The acquisition of this is the aim of the Christian life, which I have been explaining to your Godliness.

"I will tell you something else, so that you may understand more clearly what is meant by the grace of God, how to recognize it and how its action is manifested particularly in those who are enlightened by it. The grace of the Holy Spirit is the Light which enlightens man. The whole of Sacred Scripture speaks about this. Thus our Holy Father David said: "Thy law is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my paths" (Psalm 118[119]:105), and "unless thy law had been my meditation, I should have died in my humiliation" (Psalm 118[119]:92). In other words, the grace of the Holy Spirit which is expressed in the Law, by the words of the Lord's Commandments, is my lamp and light. If this grace of the Holy Spirit (which I try to acquire so carefully and zealously that I meditate on Thy just judgments seven times a day) did not enlighten me amidst the darkness of the cares which are inseparable from the high calling of my royal rank, whence should I get a spark of light to illumine my way on the path of life, which is darkened by the ill-will of my enemies?

"In fact the Lord has frequently demonstrated before many witnesses how the grace of the Holy Spirit acts on people whom He has sanctified by His great inspirations. Remember Moses after his talk with God on Mount Sinai. He so shone with an extraordinary light that people were unable to look at him. He was even forced to wear a veil when he appeared in public. Remember the Transfiguration of the Lord on Mount Tabor. A great light encircled Hi, "and His raiment became shining, exceedingly white like snow" (St. Mark 9:3), and His disciples fell on their faces from fear. But when Moses and Elijah appeared to Him in the light, a cloud overshadowed them in order to hide the radiance of the Light of the Divine grace which blinded the eyes of the disciples. Thus the grace of the All-Holy Spirit of God appears in an ineffable Light to all to whom God reveals its actions."

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MY BLESSING TO ALL OF YOU

The Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God and Father, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.

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Glory Be To GOD For All Things!

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With sincere agape in His Holy Diakonia,
The sinner and unworthy servant of God

+Father George