“O Heavenly King”
“O Heavenly King”
Since the day of Pentecost, until Pascha Sunday, every prayer in the Orthodox Church begins with the invocation of the Holy Spirit: “O Heavenly King, Comforter, Spirit of Truth, Who art everywhere present and fillest all things, Treasury of good things, and Giver of life: come and abide in us, and cleanse us from every sin, and save our souls, O Good One!”
Who is the Holy Spirit?
-He is one of the three divine Hypostases, inseparable from God the Father and God the Son. He is also God the Holy Spirit, because our God is a Holy Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
It is true that this prayer is specific to the Holy Spirit, but our prayer remains trinitarian to the One God, just in the way that we pray “Our Father who art in Heaven”.
-He is the “Heavenly King”, because He is “a Spirit that guides, helps, and leads. Hence, He fulfills the kingdom of the Father on earth. This very kingdom that was realized by the Son when He conquered death and ascended to Heaven.
- He is the Comforter who grants us to be in the constant presence of the Christ, after his Ascension.
Christ said: “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me. (John 15:26) He also said about the Spirit that “He will teach you all things” (John 14: 26).
- He is the Spirit of Truth, who proceeds from the Father. Christ sends to the world the Holy Spirit, who proceeds from the Father.
- He is the Comforter who gives joy and gifts. He comforts the human being in exile from God in this life, until the Lord comes again.
- He is the presence of God in the world. Therefore, He is everywhere present and fills all things”
- He is the Spirit of renewal every time we repent for our sins and confess them.
-He is the Spirit of sanctification and our desire to be in God’s permanent presence. As much as we preserve and develop the grace of the Holy Spirit, his presence overflows in us, and we become "a treasury of grace". This is holiness, for the acquisition of the Holy Spirit is union with God. Does not St. Seraphim Sarov say that the goal of Christian life is to possess the Holy Spirit?
When the Lord sent us the Comforter, He gave us the possibility to be united with Him in baptism, be sanctified, and receive eternal life, as long as we activate the Holy Spirit in us. “Nobody can say: “Jesus is Lord, except in the Holy Spirit. (1 Corinthians 3:12).
-He is the Spirit that blows where it wills, preserving the world and creation.
- He is the "treasury of righteousness," in the sense that goodness and blessings in the universe come from Him. For He renews the power of life in people and restores their relationship with the Creator.
- He is "the Giver of Life". God breathed into humankind a "breath of life", and he became a living being. By the fall, corruption and death entered humankind. Through baptism, we receive the Holy Spirit who keeps our souls after death.
During the second Ecumenical Council, which was held in Constantinople in 381CE, the Holy Fathers declared that the Holy Spirit is “God”, together with the Father and the Son, according to the Bible. Thus was completed the second part of the Creed, where we say: “And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Giver of Life, Who proceeds from the Father; Who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified…"
The first part of the Creed had been declared in the first Ecumenical Council in 325 CE.
We call on the Holy Spirit every day: “come and abide in us, and cleanse us from every sin.” Act on our fallen nature, as the leaven in the dough, until we become bread suitable for the kingdom, and save our souls.
We conclude with Paul the Apostle: “The first man Adam became a living being.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit (1 Corinthians 15:45).” This refers to the salvation which was wrought by Christ.
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