Home page News
Metropolitan Hilarion: The Holy Spirit is the…

Metropolitan Hilarion: The Holy Spirit is the main treasure of the Christian soul

On August 1st, 2021, on the 6th Week after the Pentecost, the day of remembrance of the Holy Fathers of the six Ecumenical Councils and the feast of the meeting of the relics of St. Seraphim of Sarov the wonderworker, the Chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, celebrated the Divine Liturgy at the Moscow church of “Joy to All the Afflicted” icon of the Mother of God on Bolshaya Ordynka street.

Clergymen of the church assisted the archpastor.

During the Litany of Fervent Supplication, petitions were offered up for deliverance of the coronavirus infection.

After the Litany, Metropolitan Hilarion lifted up a prayer recited at the time of the spread of baneful pestilence.

At the end of the Divine Liturgy, the Archpastor addressed the audience with a following sermon:

"In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit!

I congratulate all of you, dear fathers, brothers and sisters, on Sunday, as well as on the day of remembrance of our Venerable and God-bearing Father Seraphim, the wonderworker of Sarov.

This great Russian saint lived at the beginning of the XIX century, at a time when various revolutionaries were already acting in our Holy Rus’, both those who wanted to enlighten the people in a liberal spirit and those who said that happiness is contained not in the life of the church, but in progress, in moving forward – towards liberal and European values.

 At the time when Russia had to choose its own path, St. Seraphim appeared as a prophet who was sent fr om God to announce to people the way to salvation and eternal life, to show them where to go in order to be saved.

St. Seraphim said that the goal of Christian life is to acquire the Holy Spirit of God. However, not everyone understood what the Saint was talking about.

Even Nikolai Alexandrovich Motovilov, with whom the monk talked on this topic, did not immediately understand what he was talking about. Then St. Seraphim explained to him: the whole life of people is based on them acquiring something, the whole life of people is connected with the process of buying and selling. People buy property, material goods, food... Of course, I am retelling in my own words what the St. Seraphim explained to Motovilov. But the most important acquisition that a person can make is the Holy Spirit of God.

In the Christian life, St. Seraphim said, many things are necessary: prayer, fasting, vigil, and the fulfillment of God's commandments. The Saint himself spent a thousand days and nights in prayer on a stone, standing on his knees. He was distinguished by such abstinence that contemporaries were surprised how his soul still held in the body. But all this, said St. Seraphim of Sarov, is not the goal of the Christian life, but only auxiliary means. The goal is to acquire the Spirit of God.

How can a person acquire the Holy Spirit? If he gives up his whole life to God, if he devotes all his affairs to the Lord, even ordinary earthly cares, turning them into a prelude to God. This may seem very simple, but it is also very difficult at the same time, because our head and our heart are often filled with worldly cares. We have acquired one, and immediately begin to think about acquiring another. Like people who collect paintings or icons, or antiques: they acquire one item and immediately start chasing after another. It is the same in our life: as soon as we acquire one thing, we immediately begin to want something else.

And St. Seraphim says that a person needs to acquire only one thing: the presence of the Holy Spirit in his life. If a person makes this acquisition, then everything else will be added to it. Perhaps this is what the Lord Jesus Christ spoke about in the parable of the pearl, when he reminded that the most important thing in a person's life is the Kingdom of God. And what is the Kingdom of Heaven like? It is like a pearl that a person found in a field, and in order to acquire it, he bought the whole field, selling his own estate for this. In the same way, the Holy Spirit is the pearl, having acquired which, together with the field wh ere it is located, we will receive everything necessary for our life.

The field is an image of the Church of Christ. It is here that a person acquires the Holy Spirit of God: through participation in Сhurch life, in divine services, through communion of the Holy Mysteries of Christ, through participation in other church Sacraments and through what many call the Liturgy after the Liturgy, when at the end of the service we go out into the world, but our heart remains filled with the grace of God. We return to ordinary worldly affairs and cares, but the prayer of Jesus continues to live in our hearts, and our Lord Jesus Christ Himself is present, along with the Holy Spirit, whom He sends from the Father to His disciples and followers.

This is what the authors of the holy books of the Old Testament meant when they said that this or that person walked before God. What does this mean? This means that a person lives in a constant sense of the presence of God, and whatever he does, even ordinary earthly affairs, he dedicates to God. He prays before the beginning of any work and thanks the Lord at the end of it, perceiving his whole life as an offering to God.

This is what the Lord calls us to do, and the great saint, St. Seraphim of Sarov, also tells us about it. Live in the presence of God, remember that the Lord is always near; devote all your deeds and labors to Him. Pray in your heart with the Jesus prayer. Participate in Church life and in the Sacraments of the Church. Partake of the Holy Mysteries of Christ, and the Lord will be near you, and the Holy Spirit will be within you.

Let us pray to the great saint of the Russian land, our Venerable Seraphim, the wonderworker of Sarov, so that he will teach us to walk the path of a virtuous life and bless us for further labors. So that each of us, through a prayer, will acquire the main treasure of the Christian soul, its main pearl – the Holy Spirit of God. Amen.

I congratulate all of you on today’s feast!"


DECR Communication Service

Commentary by the Communications Service of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate on the interview given by Pope Francis to the Italian publication Corriere della sera.


His Holiness Patriarch Kirill’s talk with Primate of Serbian Orthodox Church


His Holiness Patriarch Kirill celebrates Paschal Great Vespers at the Church of Christ the Saviour


Paschal Message of Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia to the archpastors, pastors, deacons, monastics and all faithful children of the Russian Orthodox Church


Holy Synod members discuss the issue of rendering aid to refugees and suffering civilians in Ukraine


Holy Synod considers it important that the Russian Church’s stance on the crisis in Ukraine be brought to notice of the heads of non-Orthodox Churches and inter-Christian organizations


Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church meets under the chairmanship of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill


Metropolitan Hilarion: The main thing in a person's life is their relationship with God


His Holiness Patriarch Kirill’s address to the Supreme Church Council on March 18, 2022


His Holiness Patriarch Kirill chairing a meeting of the Supreme Church Council


His Holiness Patriarch Kirill had a talk with Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby


His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia talks with Pope Francis


Patriarch’s homily on the Sunday of Orthodoxy at Christ the Saviour Cathedral


His Holiness Patriarch Kirill sent a letter to the Acting General Secretary of WCC in connection with the events in Ukraine


His Holiness Patriarch Kirill holds a conference with leaders of several church establishments


Metropolitan Hilarion meets with leaders of a major inter-Cristian humanitarian organization


Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk visits Exarchate of the Orthodox Church of Jerusalem in Cyprus


Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk meets with Archbishop Chrysostomos of Cyprus


Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk holds negotiations with head of the DECR of the Malankara Church


DECR chairman meets with representative of the Armenian Apostolic Church Catholicosate of Cilicia


Russian Orthodox Church delegation attends Orthodox Pre-Assembly of World Council of Churches


Metropolitan Hilarion on the work carried out by the Church amid the political confrontation in Ukraine


Metropolitan Hilarion: Imposing sanctions will not affect the life of the Russian Orthodox Church


Metropolitan Hilarion on details of the talk between His Holiness Patriarch Kirill and Pope Francis of Rome


Metropolitan Hilarion: We have learned from own experience that Jesus Christ is God Incarnate


Metropolitan Hilarion: The Church is called upon to unite people regardless of their political orientation


His Holiness Patriarch Kirill’s talk with Primate of Serbian Orthodox Church


Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk celebrates Paschal services.


Metropolitan Hilarion on how Orthodox Churches are helping refugees


Metropolitan Hilarion on setting a date for the Bishops’ Council


Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk celebrates Vespers of Good Friday with the procession of the burial-shroud.


Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk celebrates Vespers and the Divine Liturgy of Saint Basil the Great on Holy and Great Thursday.


Metropolitan Hilarion: the essence of religious life lies in the love for God


Metropolitan Hilarion: May the joy of the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ into the world live in our hearts always


On Christmas Eve, Metropolitan Hilarion celebrated the Divine Liturgy at the Moscow church in honor of the icon of the Mother of God "Joy to All who Sorrow" on Bolshaya Ordynka.


Metropolitan Hilarion: The Lord calls every person to salvation in a variety of ways


Metropolitan Hilarion: The Lord has commanded us to love every human being


Metropolitan Hilarion: on the Feast of the Holy Protection of the Most Holy Theotokos we glorify the heavenly intercession of the Mother of God


Metropolitan Hilarion: Many things in a person's life depend on faith


Metropolitan Hilarion: The Holy Spirit is the main treasure of the Christian soul


Metropolitan Hilarion: Holiness is a constant striving to imitate the Lord Jesus Christ


Metropolitan Hilarion: God does not want to condemn, but to save us


Metropolitan Hilarion: The Lord always grants to us the opportunity to display our talents


Metropolitan Hilarion: The Lord has imbued the waters of Jordan with his divine presence to wash away human sins


Metropolitan Hilarion: to repent means to change your way of life


Page is available in the following languages

Fields marked by * are mandatory required

Send a message
Рус Укр Eng Deu Ελλ Fra Ita Бълг ქარ Срп Rom عرب