iconandlight

Iconography and Hand painted icons

The Holy Spirit, like the spring sun…St Nikolaj Velimirović

ΑΓ.ΠΝΕΥΜΑ-ΒΥΖ.ΜΟΥΣΕΙΟ - Αντίγραφο

We know not what we should pray for as we ought; but the Spirit Itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered (Rom 8:26);
Lord, I know not what to ask of You.
You alone know what my true needs are.
I put all my trust in You.
I have no other desire than to fulfil Your will.
Teach me to pray. Pray Yourself in me. Amen

St Nikolaj (Velimirović), Bishop of Ochrid and Zhicha

Oh, brothers, how the Holy Spirit rejoices with an unspeakable joy when it finds pure and open souls who thirst for It!.. From the first paradisal days of Adam, the Holy Spirit did not have the joy that It had on the day of Pentecost, when God the Son created the possibility for It to act among people in full power. 

By a very narrow way did It walk then amidst people, pouring oil into the lamp of life only so much as to prevent it from going out altogether. It acted also through the laws of nature, through human laws, through the prophets and kings, and through artists and sages, to the extent that these were able and willing to give themselves over to Its action. Wherever a tear sprung from a thirst for God’s righteousness might have fallen upon the dust of earth, it fell because of the warmth by which the Holy Spirit inspired a human heart. Wherever the sage’s bright thought gleamed for the One eternal God, it gleamed because of the spark of the Holy Spirit, cast into the human soul. Wherever the artist created, chiseled or sketched some tale of life, thereby opening even to some small measure mankind’s blinded eyes to a vision of Divine truth, there did the Holy Spirit make contact through Its life-giving breath with the human spirit. Wherever the noble hero sacrificed himself with faith in God and arose to defend flouted truth and righteousness, there did the Holy Spirit pour Its strength into the human heart. But all of this happened on no sweeping scale or with any great joy. All of these were but crumbs thrown to hungry prisoners in the dungeon. When our Lord and God Jesus Christ destroyed the prison of sin and death and led before the Holy Spirit His twelve apostles like twelve bright, royal chambers, then God the Holy Spirit with a joyful sound and the fullness of Its activity came and abode in them. God the Holy Spirit, sorrowing from the time of Adam’s sin, then for the first time and with a great breathe, great breadth of scale, and great joy once again began Its unlimited action of power and inspiration in people. 

Or, for a better understanding use the following comparison. The sun shines in winter and in spring. However, its light and warmth cannot make something grow through the snow in winter. But in the spring, the light and warmth of this same sun makes it possible for what was sown to sprout and grow. Scientists say that the earth turns away from the sun in winter, that snowy regions are then located farther from the sun and receive the sunlight through slanted, indirect rays. In the spring, the earth turns toward the sun and snowy regions become closer to it, and the sunlight and warmth come down in more direct rays. From Adam to Christ, the human soul was like the earth during wintertime. The Holy Spirit illumined and warmed, but the because of the human soul’s sinful deformity and alienation from God it was literally far from God, and nothing could grow and bear fruit. Our Lord Jesus Christ straightened the human soul and brought it closer to God, cleansed it from the ice and snow, ploughed and sowed the Divine seed in it. Then the Holy Spirit, like the spring sun, began by Its power to grow and manifest wondrous and sweet fruits in the field of the human soul. Winter can never believe in the miracles in which the spring clothes the earth. So also people who have turned away from the Holy Spirit, living with a soul covered by the ice and snow of their own self-deceptions, can never believe in what miraculous gifts the Holy Spirit clothes those who become close to It and come under the direct rays of its Divine light and warmth. Yes—and how could the Eskimo, who was born and lived his whole life amidst ice and snow, believe a traveler from southern regions when he tells him of flowers and trees, of mottled fields and green hills?

So also some people from a country far from God, iced-over and darkened by sin, did not believe the apostles when they proclaimed the good news about the living God in the heavens, about the Father, Who calls to Himself all who desire to call themselves His children;

From the collected works of St. Nicholai (Velimirovich)

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Come, O true light!
— Come, O eternal life!
— Come, O true and fervent expectation of all those who will be saved!
— Come, O rising of those who lie down!
— Come, O resurrection of the dead!
— Come, O eternal joy!

— Come, you who have separated me from everything and made me solitary in this world!
— Come, O my breath and life!
— Come, O consolation of my humble soul!
— Come, O my joy, my glory, and my endless delight!
— I thank you that you have become one spirit with me,
— O Master, stay and do not leave me alone, so that my enemies, arriving unexpectedly, they who are always seeking to lessen my soul, may find you living within me and that they may take flight, in defeat, powerless against me, seeing you, O more powerful than everything, installed within my essence in the home of my poor soul.

Saint Symeon, the New Theologian (949-1022 CE)

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