Today is known as “Holy Spirit Day” in the Orthodox Church. Yesterday was the Feast of Pentecost, which commemorates the birthday of the Church—the day the Holy Spirit was given to us following Christ’s Ascension. So, the day following any given feast is a day to commemorate the “one” honored in the feast, in this case, the Holy Spirit. But you can read more about this and see lots of pictures of our church decorated in GREEN for Pentecost in my post last year. I was out of town this weekend and had to miss the Feast, which I love. And also “Kneeling Vespers” yesterday afternoon. (Watch for a post tomorrow or Wednesday about my weekend at the Yoknapatawpha Summer Writers Workshop in Oxford!)
And speaking of the Holy Spirit, I believe He was at work during the meeting of our bishops with our patriarch in Syria last week. This will be short, but I’d like to share a few words from Bishop BASIL’s encouraging letter upon returning from his recent visit with Patriarch Ignatius IV in Damascus, Syria:
… all of our interactions with His Beatitude - individual meetings, group meetings and informal chats - were exceedingly warm. The Patriarch both asked questions of us and answered queries from us in a sincere and frank manner, hearing us with an open mind and, more importantly, an open heart. We bishops were and are most grateful for the obvious paternal love, gracious hospitality and kind attention shown to us by His Beatitude, and, like him, are hopeful that our visit will inaugurate a new chapter in our relations with our Mother Church….
You can read his complete letter and find links to more information about the events surrounding this visit on the Orthodox Christians for Accountability website. And please continue to pray for the unity of the Church. I’ll close with the Orthodox Prayer to the Holy Spirit:
O Heavenly King, O Comforter, the Spirit of Truth, who art in all places and fillest all things; the Treasury of good things and Giver of life: Come and abide in us. Cleanse us from every stain, and save our souls, O Good One.