Thomas Merton: One Foot in the Wilderness, One Foot in the World - Vancouver School of Theology / public lecture / 12 July 2018 By Jim Forest Were our long-dead ancestors, say just about anyone from before the nineteenth c...
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Posted: 17 Jun 2011 03:54 AM PDT
By St. Nikolai Velimirovich
"We have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God" (1 Corinthians 2:12).
Brethren, the spirit of this world is the spirit of pride and cruelty and the Spirit of God is the Spirit of meekness and gentleness. The apostle of God asserts that the followers of Christ did not receive the spirit of this world rather the Spirit "which is of God" i.e., who proceeds from God the Father as a sweet-smelling fragrance as from flowers and as a good fragrance pours out on the soul of man making it mighty, bright, peaceful, thankful and pleasant.
Men by nature are meek and gentle. Tertullian writes: "The soul of man by nature is Christian." But, by the spirit of this world, it is irritable and enraged. The spirit of this world made wolves out of lambs, while the Spirit Who is from God makes lambs out of wolves.
The apostle still adds that we received the Spirit of God "that we may know the things that are freely given to us of God" (1 Corinthians 2:12). That is, that we may know what is from God in us and what is not from God, and that we may sense the sweetness of that which is from God and the bitterness from that which is not from God, but rather from the spirit of this world. As long as man is outside of his nature, beneath his nature, he considers bitterness as sweetness and sweetness as bitterness. But, when by the Spirit of God he returns to his true nature, then he considers sweet as sweetness and bitter as bitterness.
Who can return man to God? Who can heal man of poisonous sinful bitterness? Who can teach him by experience to distinguish true sweetness from bitterness? No one except the Spirit Who is from God.
Therefore brethren, let us pray that God grants us His Holy Spirit as He granted the Holy Spirit to His apostles and saints. And when that Holy Spirit of God enters into us, the kingdom of God has arrived in which is all sweetness itself, only good, only light, only meekness and only gentleness.
O Holy Spirit, the Spirit of meekness and gentleness, come and abide in us.