06 November 2011
Righteousness vs. Holiness
People are basically good. In the heterodox churches and even in the pagan religions, we find good people – some extraordinarily good, such as Mother Theresa. But only in the Orthodox Church do we find holy people.
"Holiness is not simply righteousness, for which the righteous are accounted worthy to enjoy blessedness in the Kingdom of God, but is rather such a height of righteousness that men are so filled with the grace of God that it flows from them and out upon those who are in fellowship with them. Great is their blessedness, which proceeds from the vision of the Glory of God. Filled to overflowing also with a love for men which proceeds from love for God, they are responsive to the needs of men and to their supplications, and become mediators and intercessors for them before God." St. John of Shanghai & San Francisco
Acquire the Holy Spirit, and a thousand around you will be saved. St. Seraphim of Sarov
St. Seraphim of Sarov was deified in his lifetime. He is one chosen to return to earth in the very last days before the fall of Antichrist. This is his most famous spiritual instruction: that we can save others by acquiring the grace of the Spirit of God for ourselves. St. Seraphim contrasted moralism and external works of piety with genuine spirituality.
Fr. Seraphim Rose taught that where the grace of the Spirit is lacking or waning, then moralism and charitable works creep in to replace it. Not that they are bad. Righteousness is never bad. But holiness is more.