“When Christ promised his disciples that the Spirit of God, His Holy Spirit, would descend upon them, He called Him the Comforter. To be in the Spirit promised by Christ is to be comforted, consoled. One need not fear any kind of sorrow or surrounding evil or inner affliction when there is such consolation. But in order to come to this consolation, it is necessary to understand in the depth of one’s soul that any sorrow, any suffering, any affliction is a consequence of sin – either one’s own or another’s. And if you accept everything as your own sin, if you identify yourself with the whole of sinful humanity and understand the fall and that you deprived yourself of Paradise, the Kingdom of Heaven – first of all, you yourself – then tears of repentance will flow at once and with them, all encompassing consolation. Such a person (who has come to such repentance) becomes meek, filled with an inner calm, silence and peace. Only in such a condition is it possible to subdue surrounding evil, win people over and win over the world. ‘Acquire the spirit of peace and thousands around you will be saved’ said St. Seraphim of Sarov.”
–His Grace Bishop Basil of San Francisco (May 22, 1915- September 17, 1999).
Throughout your life, watch over your heart and notice those things that hinder its union with God. Let this be your sciences of sciences and with God’s help, you will get accustomed to perceiving quickly what distances you from God and what draws you nearer to Him. The Deceiver strives very hard to stand between our heart and God. It is precisely he who distances us from God with various passions: carnal lust of the body, lust through the eyes and earthly pride.
Distinguish between the Life-giving Spirit and the spirit of death within yourself. When your soul has good thoughts, you feel good and buoyant, you experience tranquility and joy, this indicates that the Holy Spirit is in you. Whereas when you have unkind thoughts or unkind inclinations of the heart, you feel burdened and troubled. This indicates that the evil spirit is within you. The evil spirit is the spirit of doubt, disbelief, passion, constriction, sorrow, and confusion; whereas the righteous spirit is the spirit of unshakable faith, the spirit of benevolence, the spirit of noetic freedom and expanse, the spirit of peace and joy. Through these indicators, ascertain what spirit is active within you.