Wednesday, January 2, 2013



            If a man no longer lives according to the flesh, but is led by the Spirit of God and is called son of God and is conformed to the image of God, he is described as a spiritual man. As the power of seeing is to be found in the healthy eye, so the working of the Spirit is to be found in the purified soul.

The word is in the soul; sometimes as the thought of the heart, sometimes as spoken by the tongue. So too the Holy Spirit is in the soul: at one time he joins with our spirit in bearing witness and cries out in our hearts: Abba, Father; at another time he speaks on our behalf, as we are told: It is not you who will be speaking: it will be the Spirit of your Father speaking in you.

Again, the Spirit is understood, in relation to the distribution of gifts, as a whole in its different parts. We are all joined to one another as different parts of one body, and have different gifts in accordance with the grace God has given us. Therefore, the eye cannot say to the hand: ‘I do not need you’, nor can the head say to the feet: ‘I do not need you.’ On the contrary, all the members together make up the body of Christ in the unity of the Spirit, and mutually contribute the necessary service in accordance with the gifts received.

God arranged the organs of the body, each one of them, as he chose; but these different parts have the same concern for one another in accordance with their sympathetic interaction, born of the spirit which they share. And so, if one part of the body suffers, all the other parts suffer with it; if one part is honoured, all the other parts share its joy. As parts in the whole, so are we, individually, in the Spirit, because we were all baptized in one body into the one Spirit.

Just as the Father is seen in the Son, so the Son is seen in the Holy Spirit. Worship in the Spirit suggests the activity of our intelligence, which is carried on, as it were, in the light, as may be learned from the words spoken to the woman of Samaria. She was misled by the custom of her country into the belief that God was worshipped in a place. Our Lord corrected her; he said that men must worship in Spirit and in truth, and by ‘truth’ he clearly meant himself.

We speak of worship in the Son, which is worship in the one who is the image of God the Father. Similarly we speak of worship in the Spirit, as the one who shows in himself the divinity of the Lord. So then, to express it properly and in order, through the illumination of the Spirit we behold the radiance of God’s glory, the Son; and through the Son, the stamp of God’s very being, we are brought to the one to whom belong the stamp and the identical seal.

St Basil the Great, On the Holy Spirit 26, 61.64, from The Divine Office Vol. I

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