Spirit of Truth

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Awakening in the Spirit of Truth to the Father through Christ opens the heart to glorification of the Father in Christ, imparting glorification in the Spirit to the saints, without which discernment of the truth of glory is not yet revealed.  Elders were once drawn from senior hierarchs as well as unordained monks, discerning the difference between glorification of God and idolatrous glorification of worldly powers, sustaining bishops in their clerical careers together with ascetic monks and solitaries who had withdrawn into the desert.  It is obviously very difficult for career bishops not to be strongly influenced by the ideology of ruling worldly powers, but the Spirit of Truth nonetheless communicates deification that frees seers and saints to experience glorification, although they know academic study and ecclesiastical administration alone cannot enlighten the heart.  Saint Silouan the Athonite spiritually fathered Saint Sophrony the Hesychast who awakened to purification and illumination of the heart, extinguishing obscurations that hindered glorification.  The way of the Name revealed how confusion is cured with deifying union and division with right-glorifying communion, liberating seers from serious falls and heresies, without which subjection to ruling powers would hold sway uncured.

The Spirit of Truth guides elders in each generation to bear witness to the difference between heresies of ethnic nationalism and wholesome Holy Orthodoxy, so when falls from right-glorification happen, they can be diagnosed and cured.  A living consensus emerged over many centuries that healed Holy Orthodoxy from nationalist, ethnic heresies, but sometimes not before, as now, they have caused enormous harm,   When Holy Orthodoxy is parodied to justify Russian dictatorial power, waging war on Orthodox democracy in Ukraine, a cruel conjuncture happens that is decisive in its catalytic power.  The blood of martyrs shatters old delusions and ruthless military violence reveals vain deceptions of false peace, disclosing Holy Orthodoxy anew in the Spirit of Truth.  Saint Paisius Velichkovsky studied theology in Kyiv, bequeathing healthy Hesychasm to Orthodox Ukraine, eventually settling in Moldavia, translating the Philokalia into Slavonic.  The Besht, named Baal Shem Tov, lived in Mezibush, now in West Ukraine, transmitting healthy Hassidism to generations of Kabbalist seers.  Russia was transformed by Saint Seraphim of Sarov, who renewed Orthodox Hesychast wisdom for future generations, renewing the tradition of Hesychast transmission of the Holy Name.

The Spirit of Truth speaks to every generation across national boundaries,  never ceasing to awaken seers through purification and illumination of the heart.  Ukraine has never ceased to nourish the witness of white martyrdom but today bears witness as red martyrdom, shedding its blood to hallow God’s reign of glory in the Name.  Timely witness may not attract media interest as bombs and destruction do, but it inspires staggering, unexpected courage, even in a very secular age.  Martyrs long ago turned and illumined hearts in the age of imperial persecutions, but today, perhaps because post-modernity now embraces spiritual awakening in secular as well as religious spheres, Cossack martyrs are found in every circle, state and stage.   The Name bears witness to the reign of glory in costly love as well as timely, timeless life, calling broken, bleeding hearts to remember God.  Ukriane’s Christian Hesychast and Jewish Hassidic past is gloriously present in God’s Holy Name, invisible to hovering drones but visible to the wisdom of broken hearts.  Martyrs give implicit glory to God when they say ‘Glory to Ukraine,’ aware that also Russian dissidents are giving glory to God just over the border.  The Holy Spirit renews truth as love of enemies in every dimension and in every sphere in times of war, releasing fake news into truth with costly martyrdom, opening in the Spirit of Truth to God’s radiant realm of suffering, his reign of glory and love.