Send down Thy All-Holy Spirit upon us!
"The Holy Spirit has always been, is now and ever shall be, having neither beginning nor end, but one with the Father and the Son: life and life-giving; goodness itself and source of goodness, through Whom the Father is made known and the Son is glorified, and is known by all: one power, one unity, one worship, of the Holy Trinity.”
~Hymn from the Orthros Praises of Pentecost
Dearest Spiritual Ohana,
Christ is in our midst!- He was, is, and always shall be!
Having completed the 40-day continuous Celebration of Pascha, we have partaken and have been fulfilled and engulfed in the exceeding joy and bliss of God’s Love, Mercy and Glory! God is with us and continues to be with us, thanks be to the Holy Spirit: the Comforter and Spirit of Truth Who fills all things, including us, with God’s Presence!
Coming into the month of June, this year, in the completion of the Pentecostarion Period, we rightly acknowledge and place our focus on the Holy Spirit as we come to celebrate Pentecost as not merely an historic event, but as an ever-present reality in our lives as Christians today and always in the now!
I would like to share with you quotes from the Holy Fathers and Saints of the Church on the Holy Spirit, whose wisdom is attributed to Holy Spirit Who has filled their lives in their thoughts, words and deeds. I hope that these words of wisdom concerning the Holy Spirit inspire all of you!
St. Macarius the Great in his Spiritual Homilies says this:
“Whatever the soul may think fit to do itself, whatever care and pains it may take, relying only upon its own power, and thinking to be able to effect a perfect success by itself, without the co-operation of the Spirit, it is greatly mistaken. It is of no use for the heavenly places; it is of no use for the kingdom – that soul, which supposes that it can achieve perfect purity of itself, and by itself alone, without the Spirit. Unless the man who is under the influence of the passions will come to God, denying the world, and will believe with patience and hope to receive a good thing foreign to his own nature, namely the power of the Holy Spirit, and unless the Lord shall drop upon the soul from on high the life of the Godhead, such a man will never experience true life, will never recover from the drunkenness of materialism; the enlightenment of the Spirit will never shine in that benighted soul, or kindle in it a holy daytime; it will never awake out of that deepest sleep of ignorance, and so come to know God of a truth through God’s power and the efficacy of grace.”
St. John of Kronstadt offers these two quotes:
“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.”
“The Comforter, the Holy Spirit, who fills the whole universe, passes through all believing, meek, humble, good, and simple human souls, dwelling in them, vivifying and strengthening them. He becomes one spirit with them and everything to them – light, strength, peace, joy, success in their undertakings, especially in a pious life, and everything good – “going through all understanding, pure and most subtle spirits” (Wisdom of Solomon vii, 23). “We have been all made to drink into one Spirit” (I Cor. xii.13). All pious people are filled with the Spirit of God similarly as a sponge is filled with water.”
With this beautifully delicious food for thought, let us always strive to acquire and be conduits of the Holy Spirit, so that the Spirit works in each and every one of us, as we rely on Its Presence in our lives!
I would like to acknowledge and thank all of you, especially those of you who are active in the various ministries of our Cathedral! The Holy Spirit needs each and every one of us to participate and be vessels to accomplish God’s work. After all, we are each members of the Body of Christ, His Church (I’m not speaking about the building, but you and all of us when I refer to “Church”).
Congratulations to our two High School Graduates: Sharon Higashi and Angeliki Scordilis! They have reached a major milestone in their lives. May they be successful in their pursuits and may they always grow in the Love our Lord throughout their lives.
This publication of the Shorelines is condensed in combining the months of June and July.
I wish you all a most blessed Summer!
Glory to God in all things!
With Love in Christ,
Polycarp the Holy Martyr & Bishop of Smyrna; Proterios, Archbishop of Alexandria; Gorgonia the Righteous, sister of Gregory the Theologian; Damian the New Martyr of Mount Athos; Boswell, Abbot of Melrose Abbey