My beloved spiritual brothers and sisters in Christ God,
CHRIST IS IN OUR MIDST! HE WAS, IS, AND EVER SHALL BE.
"… YOUR GOOD SPIRIT SHALL GUIDE ME…" (Psalm 142 )
ORTHODOX PRAYER TO GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT
O Heavenly King, O Comforter, the Spirit of Truth,
Who art in all places and fillest all things; Treasury
of good things and Giver of Life: Come and dwell
in us and cleanse us from every stain, and save our
souls, O Good One.
In the book of Acts 8:27, we read "… behold a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace the queen of the Ethiopians, had charge of all her treasury and had come to Jerusalem to worship, was returning.
And sitting in his chariot, he was reading Isaiah the prophet. Then the Spirit
said to Philip, ‘Go near and overtake this chariot.’ So Philip ran to him, and
heard him reading the prophet Isaiah and said, ‘Do you understand what
you are reading?’ And he said, ‘HOW CAN I, UNLESS SOMEONE GUIDES
Speaking to His disciples, our Lord Jesus Christ promised to send them the Holy Spirit, the Comforter Who would remain with them forever; the Spirit of Truth Who WOULD INSTRUCT THEM IN EVERYTHING AND WOULD INFORM THEM OF THE FUTURE. The Holy Spirit, in His Divine power, gives to us "all things that pertain unto life and godliness" (2 Peter 1:3).
Just like the Ethiopean and the holy Disciples, we too need someone to guide us spiritually. The holy Apostle Philip, inspired and guided by the Holy Spirit, was able to instruct the eunuch so that he could understand what he was reading from Isaiah the holy Prophet.
Before reading the Gospel during the Divine Liturgy, the priest offers the following prayer asking for the blessing of God, that His word may be fruitful in the hearts of the faithful. Every Christian, however, should offer the prayer, because only the word of God can bear fruit in our hearts.
Let us pray to the Lord. Kyrie Eleison.
Shine in our hearts, O Merciful Master, the pure Light of Thy
Divine knowledge, and open the EYES OF OUR MIND THAT WE
UNDERSTAND THE TEACHINGS OF THY HOLY GOSPEL;
implant in us also the fear of Thy blessed commandments,
that we, trampling down all carnal desires, may enter in a
spiritual manner of living and thinking and doing all things
that please Thee. For Thou art the Source of Light for our
souls and bodies, O Christ our God, and unto Thee we
ascribe glory, together with Thy Eternal Father, and Thine
All-Holy, Good, and Life-Giving Spirit, now and forever,
and from all ages to all ages. Amen.
Living today in a fast-changing world, one is easily disoriented and loses his or her way. The constant change creates almost an unknown world, a kind of foreign world where we are strangers. However, what is strange is that the people who we thought we knew have changed, too. The structures remain the same, but the attitudes, morals, values, and human interaction are different. It is confusing to us and, just as if we were visiting another country, one feels the need for a guide to show the way.
What is even more intense and challenging is the spiritual warfare taking place throughout the world. Christians remaining steadfast in their faith are on the alert. Many Christians who had enjoyed a peaceful co-existence with unbelievers and people of other religions for most of their lives, now are being attacked for their beliefs and Christian values. Young Christians, men and women alike, are ostracized and belittled by those who object to their faith and way of life.
Christians have been persecuted for centuries throughout the world. The early settlers from Europe traveled to this new land to escape religious persecution. Amerca was created with the intent that people would not be persecuted, no matter what faith they espoused and practiced. As everyone knows, persecution takes different forms and sanctions. Those who know world history know that persecution of Christians for the first 300 years of Christianity under the pagan Roman Empire was not the same as those suffered under Islam. Persecution of Christians for 74 years in the Communist Soviet Union took a different form, as well. During these major persecutions of Christianity, millions upon millions of Christians were martyred for Christ. Where will present and future Christians be persecuted next, how severe will the persecution be, and what kind? Only God knows.
What is important, though, is to remain steadfast in our Christian faith and NOT to waver from it or to betray Christ. Jesus says, "I AM THE WAY," and that never changes under any circumstances. Our Savior also reminds all Christians, "I AM THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD. HE WHO FOLLOWS ME SHALL NOT WALK IN DARKNESS, BUT HAVE THE LIGHT OF LIFE" (John 8:12). Since we believe that He indeed is the Light of the World, how can we ever lose our way? That is impossible!
The True Guide for all Christians is the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth. Persecutions did not only take place from outside the Christian Church, but also from within by heretics. Heretics, who were determined to destroy the Christian Faith from within. Because of this violent and evil persecution, Christian blood was shed as in the case of iconoclasm (war declared against holy icons) which lasted for approximately 100 years. Even today Orthodox Christians are told NOT to venerate them out of fear of the virus.
If there is a time where you are confused or, for whatever other reason, you have lost your way, pray to the Holy Spirit to guide you and show you the way back home. It is never too late. A good example of genuine faith was announced in the current Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, when a South African Christian athlete, who won a gold medal in swimming, attributed her win to God and wore a cap that said, "Glory to God alone." Thanks be to God! If we are looking for inspiration, we need to just look around us…and especially at our fellow Christians.
In Psalm 142 :8-19 we read: "Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness
in the morning,
For in You do I trust;
Cause me to know the way in
which I should walk,
For I lift up my soul to You.
Deliver me, O Lord, from my
In You I take shelter.
Teach me to do Your will,
For You are my God;
Your Spirit is Good.
Lead me in the land of
"Glory Be To GOD
– Saint John Chrysostomos
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With sincere agape in His Holy Diakonia (Ministry),
The sinner and unworthy servant of God
+ Father George