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The Holy Spirit in the Mysteries of the Church

Jun 22, 2022

The Holy Spirit in the Mysteries of the Church

The Holy Chrismation

St. John the Baptist came preparing the way for our Lord Jesus Christ, and teaching that when the Lord comes, He will baptize not just with water but with the Holy Spirit!

"I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry.

He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire" (Mt 3:11).
We were baptized by the Holy Spirit at the time of our Chrismation when the priest anointed our body with the holy chrism (Myron).

At this moment we received the full outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

This is the same gift that the holy apostles obtained on the day of Pentecost.

In the mystery of Holy Chrismation, the heavens opened and the Holy Spirit descended upon us, taking possession of our soul.

We became a living "temple of the Holy Spirit" (1 Cor 6:19).

Through this mystery, we became "the anointed ones" when we received the sign of the Holy Spirit.

St. Cyril of Jerusalem explains "Christ bathed in the river Jordan, imparting to its waters the fragrance of His divinity, and when He came up from them the Holy Spirit descended upon Him, like resting upon like.

So we also, after coming up from the sacred waters of baptism, were anointed with chrism, which signifies the Holy Spirit,

by Whom Christ was anointed and of Whom blessed Isaiah prophesied in the name of the Lord: The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me.

He has sent me to preach good news to the poor."

St Cyril of Jerusalem also says:
"But we too have been anointed with oil, and by this anointing we have entered into fellowship with Christ and have received a share in His life.

Beware of thinking that this holy oil is simply ordinary oil and nothing else.

After the invocation of the Spirit it is no longer ordinary oil but the gift of Christ, and by the presence of His divinity it becomes the instrument through which we receive the Holy Spirit.

While symbolically, on our foreheads and senses, our bodies are anointed with this oil that we see, our souls are sanctified by the Holy and Life-giving Spirit.

The Holy Spirit gives us a new divine life and, therefore, we profess Him to be the ‘Giver of Life’"
This divine life is the life of grace, making us "partakers of the divine nature" (2 Pet 1:4)

and true children of God: "For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out,"Abba, Father."

The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God" (Rom 8:15-16).

Chrismation, then, is our own "Pentecost" when the fullness of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is poured upon us, enabling us to live a life worthy of our Christian calling as the children of God.

Holy Baptism and Chrismation are closely connected to the Eucharist. In Holy Baptism we take off the old, sinful person and wash away the sinful nature.

In Chrismation, we are anointed with the oil of the Holy Spirit and filled with His gifts. Finally, we are led to the Eucharistic banquet

Holy Baptism and Chrismation are considered the mysteries of entrance into the life of the Church.

They lead us into the life of the Church and unite us with its essential nature.

They are therefore intimately connected with the Eucharist, which is the center and the source of the whole life of the Church.

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