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.
GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT
Prayer to the Holy Spirit
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Glory To Thee, Our God, Glory To Thee!
O Heavenly King, Comforter, Spirit of Truth, Thou are everywhere and fill all things Treasury of blessings and Giver of life: come and abide in us, and cleanse us from every impurity, and save our souls, O Good One!
From among the numerous testimonies in Holy Scripture which concern the Holy Spirit, it is especially important to have in mind those passages which a) confirm the teaching of the Church that the Holy Spirit is not an impersonal Divine power, but a Person of the Holy Trinity, and b) which affirm His Oneness in Essence and equal Divine Dignity with the Father and Second Person of the Holy Trinity.
a) A testimony of the first kind--that the Holy Spirit is a Person-we have in words of the Lord in His farewell conversation with His Disciples, were He calls the Holy Spirit the "Comforter" Whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of Truth, which proceeds from the Father, He shall testify of Me" (St. John 15:26). "And when He is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they believe not in Me of righteousness, because I go to My Father, and ye see Me no more of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged" (St. John 16:8-11).
The Apostle Paul speaks clearly of the Spirit as a Person when, in examining the various Gifts of the Spirit-the Gifts of wisdom, knowledge, faith, healings, miracles, the discerning of spirits, diverse tongues, and the interpretation of tongues-he concludes, "But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as He will" (1 Corinthians 12:11).
b) The Apostle Peter speaks of the Spirit of God in the words addressed to Ananias, who had concealed the price of his property: "Why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Spirit...Thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God" (Acts 5:3-4).
Concerning the equality of honor and the oneness of essence of the spirit with the father and the son there is the testimony of such passages as:
"... Baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit" (St. Matthew 28:19).
"The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God the Father and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all. Amen (2 Corinthians 13:13). Here all Three Persons of the Holy Trinity are named as equal. And the following words of the Savior Himself expressed the Divine dignity of the Holy Spirit: "And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him; but whosoever speaketh against the holy spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come" (St. Matthew 12:32).
"If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you" (St. John 14:15-17).
What a great promise, that God the Holy Spirit will be in us till the end of time!
Saint Seraphim of Sarov spoke of the Holy Spirit as a fire: "warming and igniting the heart and inward parts. So, if we feel coldness in our hearts, which is from the devil (for the devil is cold), then let us call the Lord: He, in coming, will warm our heart with perfect love, not only toward Himself, but our neighbors as well. And the coldness of the despiser of good will run from the face of His warmth."
Our Holy Orthodox Church has proclaimed that the Holy Spirit is of the same substance with the Father and the Son in the Godhead of the Trinity. The Church has incorporated this Truth in the Nicene Creed (Symbol of faith) as pronounced by the Second Ecumenical Synod (381 A.D.) It says: [I believe] "And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Giver of Life, Who proceeds from the Father, Who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; Who spoke by the prophets."
The Holy Spirit in truth remains in the Church, protects and preserves its Truth and sanctifies its members. The Holy Spirit is the Power and Comforter of the believers, and was promised by Christ. The Holy Spirit is the Life-giving energy and power which makes the Church "The pillar and ground of the truth" (1 Timothy 3:15).
Every Orthodox Christian must come to know that Gifts of the Holy Spirit are given only to those who believe in the True faith, and not to those who have gone astray and have fallen into heresy. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth and therefore He dwells in the Authentic Church of Christ, the Orthodox Christian Church. It is blasphemous to consider even the possibility that He would be connected in any way with those who spread lies, heresies, distortions, deceptions, and confusion among Christian believers and the world. The people who are engaged in these heresies are the enemies of God the Holy Spirit and one day they will answer to Him for spreading evil.
The Holy Spirit guides and protects the Church of Christ. The sincere and genuine Christian must devote himself to the True Gospel and True meaning and practice of his/her faith in Christ.
A true Christian can only have 'a spiritual life' only if he or she is guided and inspired by God the Holy Spirit anything else is false and foolish. Furthermore if He is to dwell in our hearts, our hearts must be clean and pristine. (Referances: Orthodox Dogmatic Theology; Orthodox Spirituality)
DIVINE SERVICES FOR MONDAY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT:
Orthros (Matins) at 9:00 a.m.
Divine Liturgy at 10:00 a.m.
"Glory Be To GOD For All Things!" -- Saint John Chrysostomos
With sincere agape in His Holy Diakonia,
The sinner and unworthy servant of God
+ Father George