The Holy Spirit, Purifier
St. Basil the Great
Now the Spirit is not brought into intimate association with the soul by local
approximation. How indeed could there be a corporeal approach to the incorporeal? This
association results from the withdrawal of the passions which, coming afterwards gradually
on the soul from its friendship to the flesh, have alienated it from its close
relationship with God. Only then after a man is purified from the shame whose stain he
took through his wickedness, and has come back again to his natural beauty, and as it were
cleaning the Royal Image and restoring its ancient form, only thus is it possible for him
to draw near to the Paraclete.
And He, like the sun, will by the aid of thy purified eye show thee in Himself the
image of the invisible, and in the blessed spectacle of the image thou shalt behold the
unspeakable beauty of the archetype. Through His aid hearts are lifted up, the weak are
held by the hand, and they who are advancing are brought to perfection. Shining upon those
that are cleansed from every spot, He makes them spiritual by fellowship with Himself.
Just as when a sunbeam falls on bright and transparent bodies, they themselves become
brilliant too, and shed forth a fresh brightness from themselves, so souls wherein the
Spirit dwells, illuminated by the Spirit, themselves become spiritual, and send forth
their grace to others.
Hence comes foreknowledge of the future, understanding of mysteries, apprehension of
what is hidden, distribution of good gifts, the heavenly citizenship, a place in the
chorus of angels, joy without end, abiding in God, the being made like to God, and,
highest of all, the being made God [that is, sharers in the divine nature]. Such, then, to
instance a few out of many, are the conceptions concerning the Holy Spirit, which we have
been taught to hold concerning His greatness, His dignity, and His operations, by the
oracles of the Spirit themselves.
On the Holy Spirit, 9
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