Wednesday, July 31, 2013

finding God in the mountains pt 3

St Seraphim of Sarov is well known in the Eastern Churches but not so well in the west. One of St Seraphim'famous quotes concerns the goal of the christian life. It can be found on the internet if you do a search for: Conversation between St Seraphim of Sarov and Nicholas Motvilo . In this conversation St Seraphim says " that the goal of the Christian life is the acquisition of the Holy Spirit". I mention this in a blog entry titled Finding God in the mountains. It is on the mountaintop that one sees what is necessary-Oxygen, water, your health, dangers from weather and the elements. Much of our lives we are in the valley. It does not seem to be God's will that life be a continuous mountain top experience. Jesus had to come from Tabor. So must we. However, in the valley we need to remember what we learned on the top; what was most essential, most necessary. In the valley we need to remember that the goal of Christianity is not forgiveness, it is not a social plan of action or civic group like the Rotarians. It is not even ascetics or morality. What is it? As St Seraphim said it is the acquisition of the Holy Spirit. Who is the Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit is the 3rd person of the Holy Trinity- one God....three distinct persons. I like to think of it this way: The Holy Spirit is the fruit of the love of the Father and the son, Jesus Christ. In a same way though infinitely less and only by analogy the fruit of love of a married couple is a child, a new life. How do you know if you have the Holy Spirit? Easy. St Paul said no one can say Jesus is Lord except by the Spirit. Can you say that? If you can you are living on the mountaintop. You know that Jesus has complete freedom to do as he wills in every aspect of your life. You are free (If the son of God has set you free, you are free indeed). What if you can't say this, then you need to repent and renounce whatever it is that is impeding God's love for may be an over attachment to material possessions. It may be a bad habit or an unhealthy relationship. Whatever it is, ask God for the grace of his mercy and He will fly to you like the Father in the parable of the prodigal son. A prayer I say and one that can quickly lead to deep prayer is: Father, in the name of Jesus give me your spirit. Feel that burning in your heart? That is the Holy Spirit. Father I pray you will give your people mountaintop experiences...a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Help us to see things from the right perspective....from the light of your truth. Amen

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