Descent of the holy spirit

“The Holy Spirit hath ever been and is, and shall ever be, neither beginning nor endings; but He is ever ranked and numbered together with the Father and the Son. He is Life, and life-creating; Light and light-bestowing; by Nature All-Good, and the Source of goodness; through Him the Father is know, and the Son is glorified; and thereby all Mankind acknowledges a single sovereignty, single covenant, one adoration of the All-Holy Trinity!”

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The Struggle for Faith

by St. Justin Popovich (reposed in 1979) Excerpted from Orthodox Faith and Life in Christ (Pages 121ff discussing St. Isaac of Syria’s understanding of Mankind’s ways of knowing God: from his “Spiritual Homilies”) Analyzing Mankind by his empirical gifts, St. Isaac the Syrian finds that his organs of understanding are sick. “Evil is a sickness of soul,” whence all the organs of the understanding are made sick. Evil has its perceptions, the passions, and “the passions are illnesses of the soul.” Evil and the passions are not natural to the soul; they are accidents?and intrusive, an unnatural addition to the soul. What are the passions in themselves? They are “a certain hardness or insensitivity of being”. Their causes are to be found…in the desire for wealth and amassing of goods, for ease and bodily comfort; they are thirst for honor and the exercise of power; they are luxury and frivolity; they are the desire for glory from men and fear for one’s own body. All these passions have one common name – “the world”. “The world means carnal conduct and a carnal mind.” The passions are the attacks of the world on Mankind by means of the things of the world. Divine grace is the only power capable of repulsing them. When the passions make their home in Man, they uproot his soul. They confuse the mind filling it with fantastic forms, images, and desires, so that his thoughts are disturbed and filled with fantasy…Since the passions are a sickness of the soul, the soul can only be healed by purification from the passions and from evil. The virtues...

The River of Fire

by Dr. Alexander Kalomiros Chapter 8: [Pagan Greek philosophy] was mixed with the Christian teaching by the various heresies…They began to distinguish not between God and Creation, but between spirit and matter.They began to think of the soul of Man as something eternal in itself, and began to consider the condition of Man after death, NOT as a sleep in the hands of God, but as the real life of Man, to which the resurrection of the dead had nothing to add – and even the need of the resurrection was doubtful. The feast of the Resurrection of our Lord, which is the culmination of all feasts in Orthodoxy, began to fall into second place, because its need was as incomprehensible to the Western Christians as it was to the Athenians who heard the sermon of the Apostle Paul. But what is more important for our subject, they began to feel that God was subject to Necessity, to this rationalistic Necessity which was nothing else but human logic. They declared Him incapable of coming into contact with inferior beings like men, because their rationalistic, philosophical conceptions did not permit it; it was this belief which was the foundation of the hesychast disputes [St Gregory Palamas’ disputes with the western monk, Barlaam, in which Gregory proclaimed that God could be experienced here on earth within our hearts purified from sin]…It had already begun with Augustine [5th century] who taught that it was not God Who spoke to Moses, but an Angel, instead It is in this context of Necessity, which even gods obey, that we must understand the Western juridical...