June 21, 2021

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

By Archpriest Rodion Putyatin (1807-1869)

"When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth" (John 16:13).

There are many Christians who do not have a proper correct understanding of the most important and necessary Christian truths; and there are even those who do not understand anything at all, who are Christians only by name, and by their thoughts and feelings they are no better than pagans. It is a painful, sad thing to see these truly unfortunate people. If they do not taste the joys in this life, they will not enjoy the joys in the life to come. It is painful, sad to see them, because it is especially painful, sad that it is so difficult to teach them anything, there is almost no possibility! Indeed, how to teach them, how to enlighten them? They do not listen to others, and if they do, they do not understand anything; they themselves either do not know how to read, or do not like to read. And when should they read, when should they listen, how should they understand? Some of them from morning till night are busy with all worldly affairs and everyday cares, others spend day and night in vain pleasures and in sinful deeds, they have no time to change their minds at all, to learn something divine. What? Are these Christians really going to perish in the darkness of delusion and ignorance?

Yes, they will inevitably perish if they do not take care of themselves, if they do not awaken from their sleep, if they do not pray, if they do not change. Yes, prayer, prayer is the only and last means through which such Christians can get out of the darkness of ignorance. That is why a person perishes in the darkness of ignorance and delusion, because he does not listen, does not read, does not understand Christian, divine truths, does not pray to God.

Our soul lives and acts only by prayer, only during prayer is it illuminated with the light of truth. The more a person prays, the more lively and active the soul becomes. A soul without prayer is dead, and as such is not capable of anything spiritual, holy and true. Look at the people who are virtuous, see how much they pray. They spend all their time in prayer. That is why they are virtuous, because they do a lot of good, because they pray a lot; if they stop praying, they will cease to be virtuous and give up good deeds. Look also at all true believers; see how they often pray. They pray incessantly. Yes, that is why they believe firmly because they pray incessantly; with a weakening of zeal for prayer, faith itself will inevitably weaken in them. Faith and good deeds are the fruits of prayer. Thus, spiritual life and prayer are closely, inextricably linked.

He who lives a spiritual and pious life loves to pray and prays without fail. Just as bodily life is revealed and sustained by breathing - since he who ceases to breathe ceases to live - so by prayer is revealed and sustained a spiritual, pious life; he lives badly, viciously, who prays little and rarely.

Therefore, this is why some of the Christians do not believe rightly, do not have an accurate understanding of the most important and necessary Christian truths: because they do not pray to God. Therefore, they have no desire to learn divine truths; that is why it makes no sense to understand divine truths: one does not pray to God; their soul is dead, incapable of anything divine. The one who died cannot be cured, and the one who does not pray to God cannot be taught anything.

So, listeners, if there are such among you, then hurry to get out of the darkness of ignorance, pray to God, pray as often as possible. A desire to know divine truths will be born in you, and then you will be happy to listen and read about them, then you will clearly understand them and keep them in your memory for a long time. Turn your whole soul to God, and He will guide you into all truth, and He will give you an opportunity and show you the means to know the truth. God is the everlasting light and infinite love; He will not leave a pagan in the darkness of ignorance; He will lead the heretic out of the darkness of delusions; He will take the depraved one out of the abyss of sins; He will not allow anyone to remain in the darkness of ignorance and delusion, as long as one only prays to Him. Amen.