The Promise of the Holy Spirit

Everything that breathes, breathes by air and cannot live without air; similarly all reasonable free creatures live by the Holy Spirit, as though by air, and cannot live without Him. “Every soul is quickened by the Holy Spirit.” Recognize that the Holy Spirit stands in the same relation to your soul as air stands in relation to your body.+ St. John of Kronstadt

My Dear Spiritual ‘Ohana,

Time marches on!  We now find ourselves entering into the summer months of the year.  In June, we come to the conclusion of the Paschal Season, celebrate the Ascension of our Lord, and Holy Pentecost, closing out the “moveable” part of the Festal Season for the year 2024.

For the past month, since May 5th, we have been proclaiming the good tidings, “Christ is risen!  Truly He is risen!”  And now this period comes to an end.  Let the Joy of the Lord’s Resurrection remain in your hearts, always, and never let Its Power ever leave you!  For every Sunday (The Lord’s Day), we continue to proclaim His Resurrection, maybe not on the grand scale we have been for the past days.

Our Lord is always with us.  He never abandons us.  We can continuously proclaim, “Christ is in our midst!”  And we respond, “He was, is, and always shall be!”  Being in one another’s presence, we experience His Presence through our encounters with one another, but most especially through the Grace and Power of the Holy Spirit!

The Lord left us with the following promise, “The Gift of His Peace– the Holy Spirit”: 

25 “These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. 28 You have heard Me say to you, ‘I am going away and coming back to you.’ If you loved Me, you would rejoice because I said, ‘I am going to the Father,’ for My Father is greater than I. 29 “And now I have told you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe. 30 I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me. 31 But that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave Me commandment, so I do. Arise, let us go from here. ~John 14:25-31

Isn’t this promise reassuring?!  It is because of the Holy Spirit, that we experience Christ’s Presence everywhere, in all times, and all places.  For the prayer of invoking the Holy Spirit, at the beginning of our services and daily prayers, expresses this reassurance:  “Heavenly King, Comforter, the Spirit of truth, present in all places and filling all things;  Treasury of Blessings, and Giver of Life:  Come and abide in us and cleanse of every stain, and save our souls, O Gracious One.”

The Doctrine of the Holy Trinity is beyond our measure to grasp and reach, completely.  As Orthodox Christians, we experience our Orthodoxy as a paradox.  For example, God in His Essence is beyond our understanding and reach, yet we experience God in His Energies, very intimately.  We can experience God’s Presence within the inner recesses of our hearts.

Here are a few of the vast number of things we experience through the Grace of the Holy Spirit:

  • Our Ability to Pray (without Holy Spirit we cannot possibly pray).
  • Inspiration (Holy Spirit infused).
  • We can only say the “Jesus is Lord” only by the Power of the Holy Spirit.
  • Holy Spirit joins seekers in Holy Baptism.
  • Holy Spirit enables Gospel/Good News to be proclaimed.
  • Holy Spirit gives life to us through the Holy Mysteries (Sacraments) such as Baptism, Chrismation, Holy Communion, Confession, etc.
  • Church’s Existence up until today (Church is actuated through the Holy Spirit).
  • Holy Spirit expands our hearts and produces prayer and virtue in us.
  • Allows us to experience the Presence of Christ everywhere and in all places.
  • The Reassurance that “God is with us.”

“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!”

With Love in Christ,

+Fr. Alexander