03 March 2011

A Wholly Creative and Energizing Reality

This piece is from the first letter to Serapion from Saint Athanasius 'On the Holy Spirit'. This was part of Matins for the Carthusians this past Sunday which was Sexagesima Sunday.

Our faith is this: the Trinity, holy and perfect, consists of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. In this Trinity there is no intrusion of any alien element or of anything from outside, nor is the Trinity a blend of creative and created Being.

It is a wholly creative and energizing Reality, self-consistent and undivided in its active power, for the Father makes all things through the Word and in the Holy Spirit, and in this way the Unity of the Holy Trinity is preserved.

Accordingly, in the Church, one God is preached, one God Who is above all things and through all things and in all things. God is above all things as Father, for He is Principle and Source; He is through all things through the Word; and He is in all things in the Holy Spirit.
There are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of service but the same Lord; and there are varieties of working, but it is the same God Who inspires them all in everyone.
Even the gifts that the Spirit dispenses to individuals are given by the Father through the Word.

For all that belongs to the Father belongs also to the Son, and so the graces given by the Son in the Spirit are true gifts of the Father. Similarly, when the Spirit dwells in us, the Word Who bestows the Spirit is in us too, and the Father is present in the Word.

For grace and the gift of the Trinity are given by the Father through the Son in the Holy Spirit. Just as grace is given from the Father through the Son, so there could be no communication of the gift to us except in the Holy Spirit. But when we share in the Spirit, we posses the love of the Father, the grace of the Son and the fellowship of the Spirit Himself.