I am told: “Father Boris, you specialize in the Holy Spirit!” What horror! I specialize in the Holy Spirit. . .How is this to be !!! You feel that you want to laugh and cry! Here one must be very careful and at the same time to know that a genuine theologian, coming towards his personal experience and that of the whole Church which he absorbs within himself and at the same time does not have an aversion for scholarly research. One thing helps the other to make certain that erudition does not overshadow spiritual experience and humility.

The whole problem of our theological development results in that the individual becomes a complete being through the union of reason, will, love and faith. The Lord waits for us to open our hearts to him When we open our hearts to the Lord, he gradually enters into it and it is from the heart that the fecundation and enlivening of every cell of the brain, nerves and feelings comes from. A gradual enlightenment and tranquility of our being is engendered. A genuine spiritual experience is from the heart which does not at alll mean something sentimental or something felt. The heart is the root of spiritual being. Thou shalt love your Lord and God with your whole heart and your whole soul and your whole mind! When we speak of the heart, we speak about that place which embraces and unites our whole being. When we come under God’s will, God is revealed through the Word which penetrates to the depth of the heart, and God’s Word needs to grow within us, and be united with us as one. When the Word of God dwells within us then every word of ours becomes a reflection of God’s Word.

We are responsible for the world, for people, for those who have not as yet encountered Christ or who rejected him, who struggle with him or renounce him. In this respect the Church must generate in us a sense of compassion, a feeling of profound responsibility for the world which God so loved that he sent his only-begotten Son, that everyone who believes in him would not perish but have eternal life. Thus you see, if we are in Christ then, being in Christ we love and experience the fate of the whole world. In this sense we should reflect on the words of the Elder Siluan or some parts in Isaac Syrene. These saints burned with love for the whole of humanity and the whole creation.

Father Boris Bobrinskoy, in an interview with Alexander Nikiforov in which he discusses theology, Christian life, the Church, developments in Russian theology, and participation in the Eucharist. Translated by Fr. Alvian Smirensky, and kindly posted by Bishop Seraphim here.

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