Seraphim_SarovskyAnd I must further explain…the difference between the operations of the Holy Spirit Who dwells mystically in the hearts of those who believe in our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ and the operations of the darkness of sin which, at the suggestion and instigation of the devil, acts predatorily in us.

The Spirit of God reminds us of the words of our Lord Jesus Christ and always acts triumphantly with Him, gladdening our hearts and guiding our steps into the way of peace, while the false, diabolical spirit reasons in the opposite way to Christ, and its actions in us are rebellious, stubborn, and full of the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life.

“And whoever lives and believes in Me will never die” (John 11:26). He who has the grace of the Holy Spirit in reward for right faith in Christ, even if on account of human frailty his soul were to die for some sin or other, yet he will not die for ever, but he will be raised by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ “Who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29), and freely gives grace upon grace.

Of this grace, which was manifested to the whole world and to our human race by the God-man, it is said in the Gospel: “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men” (John 1:4); and further: “And the light shines in the darkness; and the darkness has never swallowed it” (John 1:5).

This means that the grace of the Holy Spirit which is granted at baptism in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, in spite of man’s fall into sin, in spite of the darkness surrounding our soul, nevertheless shines in our hearts with the divine light (which has existed from time immemorial) of the inestimable merits of Christ.

In the event of a sinner’s impenitence this light of Christ cries to the Father: “Abba, Father! Be not angry with this impenitence to the end (of his life).”

Then, at the sinner’s conversion to the way of repentance, it effaces completely all trace of past sin and clothes the former sinner once more in a robe of incorruption spun from the grace of the Holy Spirit.

The acquisition of this is the aim of the Christian life, which I have been explaining to you.

Seraphim of Sarov (Orthodox Church; 1759-1833): On the Acquisition of the Holy Spirit.

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