These lilting reflections on the Holy Spirit unfold in the shape of a prayer--specifically, the 'fountainhead' Orthodox prayer of invocation: 'Heavenly King, O Comforter, the Spirit of Truth, who art everywhere present.' Each chapter dwells on a single phrase, allowing its truths to flow organically into the heart, for 'any Orthodox reflection on the Holy Spirit will be an invitation for the Holy Spirit to move from the page and into the person.' Oliver grounds his meditations in scripture and theology (Basil the Great, St. Silouan, Elder Paisios, Seraphim of Sarov) while drawing out practical implications for the spiritual life. The chapter 'Spirit of Truth' begins with the Nicene Creed, but then traces the process by which 'half-truths' can often lead us to 'the depths of depression or the heights of pride--which, actually, is often the same place.' Likewise, 'Fruits of the Spirit' points out the pitfalls of mistaking pleasure for joy, 'peace' for conflict avoidance, 'goodness' for moral legalism, for 'if severed from their source [Spirit].these treasures.lose proper expression and become vulnerable to our clever, even dark, designs.' Giver of Life
preserves a flawless balance between its accessible theology and its praxis of the Spirit, who is ever working in our lives to bring about the 'new creation in Christ.the daily renewal of the inward man
An Eighth Day View:
"Presents the Orthodox perspective on who the Holy Spirit is, where the mystery of God comes alive." Delving deep and subtly into Orthodox tradition and theology, "Giver of Life" articulates the identity of the Holy Spirit as the third Person of the Trinity as well as the role of the Holy Spirit in the salvation of the world. Written with a poetic sensibility, Fr. Oliver begins with Pentecost, an event uniquely celebrated in Orthodoxy as a time when greenery of all kinds is brought into churches. "The splash of green foliage calls to mind not just life, but a special kind of life. It is the life that transcends biological existence and flows from the very Godhead Itself; it is life that's a state of being--immortal, everlasting, changeless. Ferns and flowers fade and die, but souls filled with this 'life from above' flourish forever."
Reflecting on the relationship of the Holy Spirit to the Church, to the world, and to the human person, "Giver of Life" looks to the impressive biblical and liturgical tradition of Orthodox Christianity. This is a book weighty in content but accessible in tone, not an academic study of the mind, but a lived experience of the heart.