• ninacrutchfield

On the Holy Spirit by Saint Basil

Some time ago, I purchased a small, 2-volume set of books titled The Doctors of the Church: An introduction to the church's great teachers. Since then, they have sat on my nightstand, waiting to be cracked open. You see, I've discovered that I love buying books actually more than I love reading them.


This week, I resolved to consume those two treasure troves of biography and samples of ancient writings. From the first page, I was hooked. Not only did the author, Mr. John Fink, draw me in by making the church fathers come to life but he also provided nuggets of their theological treatises. I encourage anyone to find their own copies.


I have to share an excerpt from St Basil the Great's writing on the Holy Spirit. It spoke to my soul last night as I read.

"Simple in himself, the Spirit is manifold in his mighty works. The whole of his being is present to each individual; the whole of his being is present everywhere. Though shared in by many, he remains unchanged; his self-giving is no loss to himself. Like the sunshine, which permeates all the atmosphere, spreading over land and sea, and yet is enjoyed by each person as though it were for him alone, so the Spirit pours forth his grace in full measure, sufficient for all and yet is present as though exclusively to everyone who can receive him. To all creatures that share in him, he gives a delight limited only by their own nature, not by his ability to give.


The Spirit raises our hearts to heaven, guides the steps of the weak, and brings to perfection those who are making progress. He enlightens those who have been cleansed from every stain of sin and makes them spiritual by communion with himself.


As clear, transparent substances become very bright when sunlight falls on them and shine with a new radiance, so also souls in whom the Spirit dwells, and who are enlightened by the Spirit, become spiritual themselves and a source of grace for others."


St Basil lived from 329-379 A.D. His life and the few writings we have from hi


m are worth exploring.




Fink, J.F. (2000). The doctors of the church: An introduction to the church's great teachers. The Society of St Paul.

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