June 19, 2011

"Grieve Not the Holy Spirit of God" (St. Nikolai Velimirovich)

By St. Nikolai Velimirovich

"And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, where by you are sealed unto the day of redemption" (Ephesians 4:30).

Brethren, "The Seal of the Gift of the Holy Spirit" is recited over all of us who are baptized by water and Spirit. The Spirit of God is given to us not because of our merits, no one should ever think that, but according to the mercy of the Living God. Even in normal relations between men, happy is the one who gives the gift and happy is also he who receives the gift. Giving is joy on both sides. The greater the gift, the greater the joy. God rejoices when He gives the Grace of His Holy Spirit: why then should men not rejoice who receive Him? The needy one who receives usually rejoices more than the rich man who gives; why then should not miserable men rejoice who receive this enormous gift from the rich God?

In what way do men grieve the Holy Spirit? The apostle who commanded that we not grieve the Spirit of God immediately adds, by what means is the Spirit grieved: "All bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking (swearing) and all malice. All of that is to be put away from you" (Ephesians 4:31), says the apostle. In other words, the Spirit of God is grieved by our every sin. Let every sin be put away from us and the Spirit of God will be joyful and by Him we will be rejoicing. When we have an important guest in our home we endeavor to do everything that is well pleasing for that guest. Can there be a greater guest than the Holy Spirit of God? Since He is our greatest and most desired guest, we need to invest the utmost effort to please Him. We know with what we please the Spirit of God - with the same with which we please Christ the Lord. The Lord said: "If you love me, keep my commandments" (St. John 14:15). He who, therefore, keeps the commandments of Christ has love toward the Son and toward the Holy Spirit. He who pleases the Son, keeping His commandments, also pleases the Father and the Holy Spirit. The apostle especially recommends: "Be kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another" (Ephesians 4:32). If we are kind, if we are tenderhearted [merciful], if we forgive one another, by this we please the Spirit of God Who is a guest in our hearts. The Spirit of God then rejoices in us and our entire being trembles from certain inexpressible joy.

O my brethren, let us take care that we not grieve our Most High Guest Who comes to us with the richest gifts.

O God the Holy Spirit, forgive our negligence toward Your Immortal Majesty and do not leave us empty and worthless without You.