Saint Seraphim of Sarov On Acquisition of the Holy Spirit

Introduction

Saint Seraphim of Sarov was born in 1759, in city of Kursk. His parents were pious Orthodox Christians, examples of true spirituality. At the age of ten, Seraphim was miraculously healed from a serious illness by means of the Kursk icon of the Theotokos. As a boy, he immersed himself in church services and church literature. He began monastic life at the hermitage of Sarov at the age of nineteen. He was tonsured as a monk when he was twenty-seven, and soon afterwards was ordained a deacon. The intensity and purity of Seraphim’s participation in the Divine services are evident as he was allowed to see angels, and during the liturgy on Holy Thursday, he saw the Lord Himself.

At thirty-four, Seraphim was ordained as a priest, and was assigned as the spiritual guide of the Diveyevo convent. At this time, he also received a blessing to begin life as a hermit in the forest surrounding Sarov. He lived in a small cabin, devoting himself entirely to prayer, fasting, and the reading of the Scriptures and the Holy Fathers. Seraphim would go to the monastery on Sundays to receive Holy Communion; and then return to the forest. Continue reading “Saint Seraphim of Sarov On Acquisition of the Holy Spirit”

The Mystery of Confirmation

In the second Mystery of the Church we move from Easter to Pentecost, from participating in the death and resurrection of Christ to the coming of the Holy Spirit.  This Sacred Mystery, or Sacrament, is called chrismation or confirmation.

Receiving confirmation is receiving the “power from on high” the gift of the Spirit.  This empowers the baptised person to live the life made new in baptism.  We become temples of the Holy Spirit.  As we hear in the compline service, “Glory to You, our God, glory to You! Heavenly King, Consoler, the Spirit of Truth, present in all places and filling all things, the Treasury of blessing, and the giver of life: come and dwell in us, cleanse us of all stain and save our souls, O Good One!”  Consider that immediately after His baptism in the river Jordan, the Holy Spirit descended upon our Lord, with those amazing words “Behold my Son in whom I am well pleased.”  Our obedience to God, which begins with baptism, allows us to receive the indwelling Holy Spirit. Continue reading “The Mystery of Confirmation”