Illumined Path: Acquire the Spirit

From “On the Acquisition of the Holy Spirit” by St. Seraphim of Sarov:

Illumined PathSurely you understand what it means to acquire money? The acquisition of the Holy Spirit of God is exactly the same. You understand I am sure, O lover of God, the meaning of acquiring in a worldly sense. The primary aim of ordinary people in a worldly sense is to acquire, or to make, money… the acquisition of the Spirit of God is the same as the acquisition of capital with the difference that it is eternal and dispenses grace. Since it is so similar to everyday ordinary money, it is acquired in much the same way.

Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself compares our life in this world with a marketplace. He likens our everyday activities to trading, telling us to ‘trade till I come, redeeming the time, because the days are evil’ (cf. Lk 19:13; Eph 5:16).  In other words, make the most of your time by obtaining heavenly blessings in exchange for your earthly good. The goods you should be trading in are those very same good works done for Christ’s sake that confer upon us all the grace of the Holy Spirit.

Prayer, fasting, vigils and all other Christian practices, however good they may be in and of themselves, do not constitute the true goal of our Christian way of life. They only serve as the indispensable means of attaining it. The true goal of our Christian life consists in the acquisition of the Holy Spirit of God. Fasting, keeping vigil, prayers, and charity, as well as every other good deed done for the sake of Christ, are but the means through which we may acquire the Holy Spirit of God.

Illumined Path, providing reflections on finding Christ in our everyday lives, is a ministry of St. Elia the Prophet Orthodox Christian Church in Akron, Ohio.