Archive for the ‘St. Basil’ Category

The “Light” of the Holy Spirit

May 21, 2015

        “The Spirit is the source of holiness, a spiritual light, and he offers His own light to every mind to help it in its search for truth. By nature the Spirit is beyond the reach of our mind, but we can know Him by His goodness. The power of the Spirit fills the whole universe, but he gives Himself only to those who are worthy, acting in each according to the measure of his faith.

“I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son is adored & glorified, who has spoken through the prophets.”

        Simple in Himself, the Spirit is manifold in His mighty works. The whole of His being is present to each individual; the whole of His being is present everywhere. Though shared in by many, He remains unchanged; His self giving is no loss to Himself. Like the sunshine, which permeates all the atmosphere, spreading over land and sea, and yet is enjoyed by each person as though it were for him alone, so the Spirit pours forth His grace in full measure, sufficient for all, and yet is present as though exclusively to everyone who can receive Him. To all creatures that share in Him he gives a delight limited only by their own nature, not by His ability to give.  …

        As clear, transparent substances become very bright when sunlight falls on them and shine with a new radiance, so also souls in whom the Spirit dwells, and who are enlightened by the Spirit, become spiritual themselves and a source of grace for others. From the Spirit comes foreknowledge of the future, understanding of the mysteries of faith, insight into the hidden meaning of Scripture, and other special gifts. Through the Spirit we become citizens of heaven, we enter into eternal happiness, and abide in God. Through the Spirit we acquire a likeness to God; indeed, we attain what is beyond our most sublime aspirations—we become God.”

— St. Basil the Great (c. 329-379 AD)

Advertisements

We Keep Only What We Have Given

August 6, 2013

By St. Basil the Great (330-379 AD)

You are going to leave your money behind you here whether you wish to or not. On the other band, you will take with you to the Lord the honor that you have won through good works. In the presence of the universal judge, all the people will surround you, acclaim you as a public benefactor, and tell of your generosity and kindness.

Do you not see how people throw away their wealth on theatrical performances, boxing contests, mimes and fights between men and wild beasts, which are sickening to see, and all for the sake of fleeting honor and popular applause? If you are miserly with your money, how can you expect any similar honor? Your reward for the right use of the things of this world will be everlasting glory, a crown of righteousness, and the kingdom of heaven; God will welcome you, the angels will praise you, all men who have existed since the world began will call you blessed. Do you care nothing for these things, and spurn the hopes that lie in the future for the sake of your present enjoyment. Come, distribute your wealth freely, give generously to those who are in need. Earn for yourself the psalmist’s praise: He gave freely to the poor; his righteousness will endure forever.

How grateful you should be to your own benefactor; how you should beam with joy at the honor of having other people come to your door, instead of being obliged to go to theirs! But you are now ill-humoured and unapproachable; you avoid meeting people, in case you might be forced to loosen your purse-strings even a little. You can say only one thing: “I have nothing to give you. I am only a poor man.” A poor man you certainly are, and destitute of all real riches; you are poor in love, generosity, faith in God and hope of eternal happiness.