June 20, 2021

Homily One on the Day of Pentecost (Archpriest Rodion Putyatin)

 By Archpriest Rodion Putyatin (1807-1869)

Now, listeners, we will all kneel together in prayer. What are we going to pray for? We will pray that the Holy Spirit will come upon us.

But do you, listeners, really want this? Do you want the Holy Spirit to illumine your mind, purify your heart, direct your will to goodness by His inspiration? Do you wish that from now on you do not think in your own way, but think in the way that the Holy Spirit will inspire you; not to desire what you like, but to desire what He will prompt you to; not to do what your passions lead you to, but to do what He will command you? If you pray so, then your pray will be fulfilled; the Holy Spirit will descend on you, will work in your soul. The whole Church will pray for His outpouring on you; God is ready to listen to each of you - the sooner we do so He will hear when we all pray to Him together. Do not be afraid of your unworthiness: the Holy Spirit will renew you. Do not be afraid of your weakness: the Holy Spirit will strengthen you. Do not be afraid of anything, just pray sincerely, with all your soul, that the Holy Spirit would come upon you - and He will certainly come down.

However, listeners, we dare not hope from this descent of any instantaneous changes, sudden actions; we do not dare to think that suddenly our mind will be illumined, that our heart will suddenly be purified, that our will will suddenly strive for good, as the apostles were worthy of. With us, all this is done gradually and imperceptibly: the Kingdom of God will not come in a perceptible way (Luke 17:20). Imperceptibly and slowly, seeds grow and ripen in the ground; the Holy Spirit acts on us even more slowly, even more inconspicuously. We cannot clearly know when exactly He will descend on us, and we cannot definitely say that He is definitely working in us. The power of the Holy Spirit unites in us with our own efforts; He acts in us to the extent that we ourselves try to do something; stop trying, and He will stop working in you.

We live by the breath of air, but if you do not breathe yourself the air will not be of value, and we will die. In the same way does the Holy Spirit work in us: He will certainly illumine our mind, but only when we ourselves strive for the light of truth. He will certainly cleanse our hearts from the filthiness of sin, but only when we ourselves will desire and covet purity. He will certainly direct our will to good, but only when we ourselves will move away from evil. Have you watched how the rain, watering plants, revives them? This is how the Holy Spirit works in us. The rain will not revive the plants if there is no plant power in them; the Holy Spirit will not help us, if we ourselves will not be strengthened.

Therefore, pray, wait for the Holy Spirit with simplicity of heart, and He will come upon you. Amen.