Wednesday, June 26, 2013

To Make Room for the Holy Spirit


Dear Parish Faithful,

As stated earlier, Pentecost Sunday is also called “Trinity Sunday.”  The One God is the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  One God, therefore, worshipped in three Persons.  We are not Unitarians, but we believe in, worship and adore the “holy, consubstantial, life-creating, and undivided Trinity.”  To believe otherwise about God is to place oneself outside of the Orthodox Faith.  Although primarily concentrating on the Holy Spirit, the following hymn from the Vespers of Pentecost magnificently reveals God’s Trinitarian nature:

The Holy Spirit was, is and ever shall be
Without beginning, without an end,
Forever united and numbered with the
   Father and the Son.
He is Life, and life-creating,
The Light, and the Giver of Life,
Good in Himself, the Fountain of
   goodness,
Through whom the Father is known
   and the Son glorified.
All acknowledge one Power, one Order,
One worship of the Holy Trinity.

Christ referred to the Holy Spirit as the “Paraklete” (Gk. Paráklētos) often translated as the “Comforter” (other translations include “Counselor” and “Advocate”).  The Holy Spirit comforts and consoles our restless hearts with the presence of the Risen Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom we ascend to the Father.  The Holy Spirit comforts us with the peace and joy of God in a world filled with much sadness and anguish.  He comforts us with a living sense, here and now, of a bright and glorious world – the Kingdom of God – that awaits us when we leave this one.  The Holy Spirit is the “pledge” of our future inheritance.

We need to make room for the Holy Spirit in our hearts, by cleansing our hearts from any evil presence.  Just as no one would pour a precious ointment or perfume into a jar that reeks with a stale odor; so God does not send the Holy Spirit into hearts that reek with sin and the stench of innumerable passions.  Actually, the Holy Spirit assists us in that very cleansing process, if we so desire that purification with our entire being.  We pray on a daily basis to the Holy Spirit, the “Heavenly King, the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth” that the Spirit would “come and abide in us and cleanse us from every impurity.”  The Holy Spirit will make us “Spirit-bearers” and not merely “flesh-bearers” if we seek the Spirit’s presence with faith, hope and love.  The Holy Spirit overcomes our weaknesses on our behalf:

“The Spirit helps us in our weakness, for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit Himself interceded for us with sighs too deep for words.” (ROM. 8:26)

Ultimately, we pray to the Holy Spirit:  “and save our souls, O Good One!”

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