Fr Georges Florovsky: Have You Acquired the Gifts of the Spirit in the Name of Christ?

Feast of David the Righteous of Thessalonika

Florovsky_Square.jpgDEAR FATHER [Dobbie Bateman], Thank you so much for your letter and for the paper enclosed. The paper is excellent. Its first merit is in that it proceeds inductively, from the concrete cases or episodes. Then the conclusion imposes. I think you are right about Motovilov. In any case, the Conversation should not be regarded as a closed unit. It does not say the whole truth. The Spirit is the Spirit of Christ, and is sent by Christ from the Father in order to remind the Disciples, those of Christ, or Christians, of Him. Pneumatic should not be played against Christological. I am coming to see it with increasing clarity. The Spirit, and His gifts, the charismata, can be “acquired” only in the name of Christ. And, in the order of Salvation, there is no higher Name. One addresses the Father in the Name of Christ, the Incarnate Son. The Pentecost is the mystery of the Crucified Lord, Who rose again to send the Paraclete. Thus, Cross, Resurrection, Pentecost belong together as aspects of one mystery, distinct in the dimension of time, but integrated in the one Divine deed of Redemption. In the image of St. Seraphim all these aspects are reflected both in their temporal distinction and in their essential unity. Hardships, humility, joy and gentle charity, and— daring. I have discussed this paradoxical synthesis of humility in daring in my short preface to Father Sophronius’s book on Starets Silouan. The Spirit brings joy, but He also bestows authority and power. Your expression alter Christus [other Christ] is rather strong, but ultimately correct. After all, in the phrase of St. Augustine, Christ is not only in capite [in the head] but also in corpore [in the body], and, according to St. Paul, all “members” together are “One Christ”. Imitatio Christi [Imitation of Christ] is not just a figure of speech, and it is not a Western phrase. St. Ignatius of Antioch regarded himself as a mimetes Christou [imitator of Christ], with the special emphasis on the sharing of the Cross or the martyr’s death. I do not see much difference between mimesis [imitation] and akolouthia [following].

~Fr. Georges Florovsky, Excerpt from Dec 12, 1963 letter; originally published by Anastassy Brandon Gallaher


Subscribe here for more and receive a free print publication!

Access the weekly updated digital library, plus other perks by joining our community today as an Eighth Day Member!


Be the first to comment

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.