When it comes to the Holy Spirit, Orthodox faith holds that God is the only being that exists outside of Himself. This belief, however, is opposed by a fourth century Orthodox priest named Macedonios. His followers argued that the Holy Spirit is not a created being and, therefore, cannot be God. According to them, this belief is an arbitrary one.
Saint Seraphim of Sarov
Saint Seraphim of Sarov is one of the most famous Russian saints and mystics. He was a devoted monk who became a Hieromonk and Hierodeacon in the 19th century. He first lived as a hermit in the forest outside Sarov. He devoted his life to prayer, fasting, and studying the Holy Fathers. On Sundays, he would visit the nearby monastery and receive Holy Communion. After Communion, he would retreat back to the forest.
When he was a monk, St. Seraphim would help pilgrims at the monastery in Sarov. Often, God would reveal to him their troubles before they would reveal them to others. Then, the pilgrims would leave the meeting feeling refilled with hope for the resurrection of Christ.
Seraphim is regarded as one of the greatest ascetics in the Russian Church. He was born on July 19, 1754. His parents were pious Orthodox Christians. He was miraculously healed at the age of 10. During his youth, he immersed himself in church services and church literature. At the age of nineteen, he entered monastic life. By the time he was twenty-seven, he had become a deacon. On Holy Thursday, Saint Seraphim was able to witness the Lord’s presence.
Saint Basil the Great
Saint Basil the Great was an early Church Father who lived in the fourth century. He was born in 329 in the town of Caesarea Mazaca in Cappadocia and died in 379. He is remembered for his defense of orthodoxy against the Arian heresy and his writings on theology and monasticism. He was later declared a saint.
In his work, Saint Basil the Great uses the Holy Spirit to emphasize the need for baptism and the dangers of separation from the Father and Son. However, he never says that the Spirit is God, as the Bible and written Tradition do not make this statement. Instead, he uses Scripture as his strongest defense tool.
As a bishop, Basil was tasked with defending the faith against heresies. He wrote a short treatise on the subject. He based his arguments on common sense and a careful examination of Scripture. He made a compelling case against sola scriptura, a philosophy that was widely practiced in early Christian literature. He also cited the existence of many liturgical traditions, including the sacrament of chrismation, which we know as confirmation in the West.
Saint Nicholas of Myra
St. Nicholas of Myra was a bishop who defended the Christian faith. He fought against the Arian heresy and was a holy example of faith. He encouraged clergy and priests to bring souls to Christ. He also used the power of the holy spirit to pray for specific intentions.
Saint Nicholas prayed for the city of Myra during a time of famine in the area of Lycia. The people were so desperate that food was scarce. While he was praying for the city, a merchant sailing through the sea of Lycia was visited by God’s bishop. The merchant was able to load the ship with grain. He was given three gold coins as a deposit and asked to sail to Myra. He did so, and when he arrived in Myra, he found three gold coins.
Saint Nicholas of Myra was a devout Christian who practiced generosity towards those in need. He was a young man when he became the Bishop of Myra. He was also a fierce defender of the faith, and suffered torture and imprisonment because of his beliefs. The persecution continued until the fourth century, when the Roman Emperor Constantine made Christianity legal in the Roman Empire.
Saint John Chrysostom
Saint John Chrysostom is an example of a Christian saint who used the holy spirit. The Saint was an Orthodox Christian scholar and exegete who lived during the fourth century. He was famous for his sermons on wealth and poverty. Many of his sermons are based on the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. Chrysostom also never tired of extolling the communal life of early Jerusalem. This includes teaching about eating meals with one’s neighbors and the importance of community.
Chrysostom believed that a Christian’s communal responsibilities went beyond attending divine services. He encouraged his followers to drag their laziest friends to liturgy. He also commanded his followers to report immoral Christians as soon as they were observed in the communion line. Furthermore, if a Christian sees another blasphemering the holy spirit, he should strike him in the mouth.
When Saint John Chrysostom was living in Constantinople, he had many duties. His responsibilities included the administration of the city, including judging the disputes among neighboring dioceses. He also had to oversee controversial elections. His influence increased as the city grew in size and importance within the empire.