The Holy Spirit – Gleanings from the Holy Fathers

 

Pentecost is almost upon us. I have posted many things about Pentecost this week, and actually have lots more. Maybe I will get to sending those things, but in the meantime, I want to post something form the Holy Fathers abut the Holy Spirit – a selection each day for a few/many days.

These selection are all from: http://www.orthodox.net/gleanings/holy_spirit.html








 

But when the Holy Spirit dwells in the heart of a person, He shows him all his inner poverty and weakness, and the corruption of his heart and soul, and his separation from God; and with all his virtues and righteousness. He shows him his sins, his sloth and indifference regarding the salvation and good of people his self-seeking in his apparently most disinterested virtues, his coarse selfishness even where he does not suspect it.

 

To be brief, the Holy Spirit shows him everything as it really is.

 

Then a person begins to have true humility, begins to lose hope in his own powers and virtues, regards himself as the worst of men. And when a person humbles himself before Jesus Christ Who alone is Holy in the glory of God the Father, he begins to repent truly, and resolves never again to sin but to live more carefully.

 

And if he really has some virtues, then he sees clearly that he practiced and practices them only with the help of God, and therefore he begins to put his trust only in God. St. Innocent of Irkutsk, Indication of the Way Into the Kingdom of Heaven

 

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3 Responses to “The Holy Spirit – Gleanings from the Holy Fathers”

  1. Father, bless!
    I feel that the “amount” of the Holy Spirit in us can be “calculated” following the simple formula/proportion: the more we judge others, the less Spirit we have, it’s quite nice a tool to look at us more or less objectively & make conslusions of where we stand. Of course we cannot see things as they are anyway because of our spiritual blindness & individual “sinful specification”, but this proportion is quite a helping mechanizm, producing a refreshing effect on us (if we at least want to approach objectiveness). Not very difficilt to notice what prevails during a day – our approval & good thoughts towards other people, or something opposite.
    It is also said, and in many cases it is true, that the secular world hates true Christians, pursue them, dislike, abandon them. It is definitely so. But here we face the danger to generilize the situation, if we apply it to us concretely. As sometimes people do not cherish & respect us as Christians, misunderstand us over the other reason – because they do not see it is really true. Because our Christianity is mostly superficial, and here we are not quite honest with ourselves first of all. Artificial righteousness does not awaken hearts (even we ourselves can feel that in spite of the fact that we, as we see it, do everything we should do regarding Christianity, our inner person remains the same, we do not receive relief, freedom in Christ, we still torn apart with inner contradictions, fears, judgement…). I remember in my early childhood I went to the circus, I saw many people who were in raptures at the performance, applausing – and I could not understand why. It all seemed so disgusting to me, I wanted those poor animals to be free, I cried out of pity, I saw everuthing around as artificial & out of place. Since that time I have circus (sorry, this is my individial perception). I know some people who do not go to circus because of the same reason. So how can we expect someone to follow us & respect our Christianity, if we do not correspond to this name? The more a person’s words differ from his real deeds, the more artificial his Christianity is.

  2. sorry, “Since that time I HATE circus”.
    Also, we are often so busy with our spiritual exersises & anxiety to do something good, and dwell so much in our “virtues and righteousness”, that we don’t even have a place for the Holy Spirit. It’s difficult to “Give place to God”, as there is so much “Me” inside us & around us.

  3. Deborah says:

    Natalia, I think your perceptions and feelings about the circus provide a very good metaphor for what St. Innocent was talking about. The vast majority of the people who attend a circus see only the superficial entertainment that is presented to them: animals doing tricks, people performing, etc…. The lights and music and excitement all distract one from examining all this at a deeper level: The amazing feats that the people do with such apparent ease are a result of hours and hours of, often painful, and dedicated practice. The animals that appear to be happily and obediently doing their tricks often are mistreated and abused or at the very least lead limited lives in cages. So, as Father Seraphim often says, “Things are never what they seem.”

    So it is with our sins. If we look superficially at our lives, often we see little sin. After all, we don’t do the BIG sins, do we? (Some are so far from the Light that they can see no sin in themselves at all.) It is only when the Holy Spirit comes and opens our eyes to Truth and we begin to engage in the hard labor of purification, digging and looking deep within ourselves, that we start to see how much corruption lies beneath the surface. And often the lives of sacrifice and kindness that pious people seem to practice with such ease are actually the result of much labor and suffering, the product of the Holy Spirit and many tears.

    May the Lord help me to “live more carefully”.

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