Tag Archives: Cross

St. Theophan the Recluse: Woe to those who are rich . . .

Gold Riches WealthWoe to those who are rich, who are full, who laugh, and who are praised. But good shall come to those who endure every wrongful accusation, beating, robbery, or compulsory difficulty. This is com­pletely opposite to what people usu­ally think and feel! The thoughts of God are as far from human thoughts as heaven is from the earth. How else could it be? We are in exile; and it is not remarkable for those in exile to be offended and in­sulted. We are under a penance; the penance consists of deprivations and labors. We are sick; and most useful for the sick are bitter medi­cines. The Savior Himself all of His life did not have a place to lay His head, and He finished his life on the cross — why should his followers have a better lot? The Spirit of Christ is the spirit of preparedness to suffer and bear good-naturedly all that is sorrowful. Comfort, arro­gance, splendor, and ease are all foreign to its searching and tastes. Its path lies in the fruitless, dreary desert. The model is the forty-year wandering of the Israelites in the desert. Who follows this path? Ev­eryone who sees Canaan beyond the desert, boiling over with milk and honey. During his wandering he too receives manna, however not from the earth, but from heav­en; not bodily, but spiritually. All the glory is within.

+ St. Theophan the Recluse, Thoughts for Each Day of the Year: According to the Daily Church Readings from the Word of God

For the 19th Monday after Pentecost; Phil. 2:12-16; Luke 6:24-30

Lenten Triodion: Let us venerate the Cross of the Lord . . .

Icon CrossLet us venerate the Cross of the Lord, offering our tender affection as the cypress, the sweet fragrance of our faith as the cedar, and our sincere love as the pine.; and let us glorify our Deliverer who was nailed upon it. Let us venerate the Cross of the Lord, offering our tender affection as the cypress, the sweet fragrance of our faith as the cedar, and our sincere love as the pine; and let us glorify our Deliverer who was nailed upon it.*

* A reference to the three kinds of wood from which the Cross was made; cf. Isa. 60:13 (Sept.).

— Wednesday Matins of the Fourth Week of Lent, Ode 7, Lenten Triodion

Lenten Triodion: Thou wast crucified, O Son of God, on the pine, the cedar and the cypress . . .

Icon Cross2Thou wast crucified, O Son of God, on the pine, the cedar and the cypress: sanctify us all, and count us worthy to look upon Thy life-giving Passion.

— Lenten Triodion (in English, “Lenten Triodion Supplement”), Friday in the Fourth Week of Great Lent, Troparion from the Matins Canon, Ode 5

Lenten Triodion: Let us sing the praises of the Cross, made from three kinds of wood . . .

Icon Lot Watering Cypress Pine CedarLet us sing the praises of the Cross, made from three kinds of wood* as a figure of the Trinity; and, venerating it with fear, let us raise our cry, as we bless, praise and exalt Christ above all for ever.

* Cypress, pine and cedar: cf. Isa 60:13 (Sept.).

Lenten Triodion (in English, “Lenten Triodion Supplement”), Tuesday in the Fourth Week of Great Lent, Troparion from the Matins Canon, Ode 8.

Lenten Triodion: Rejoice, divine Cross, formed from three different kinds of wood . . .

Icon CrossRejoice, divine Cross, formed from three different kinds of wood: on thee One of the Trinity was nailed in the flesh. He has delivered us who were prisoners in the abyss of godlessness, and we exalt Him above all for ever.*

Receiving power and strength through the Cross, the disciples of the Word set free those held fast in bitter bondage by the evil one, and they sing in praise: We exalt Thee above all for ever.

Woe is me! How fearful shall be that judgement seat on which Thou shalt sit, O Word, and shalt reveal to me my hidden deeds, exposing before all my want of feeling! But since, O Christ, Thou art by nature full of love, spare me then.

* Isa. 60:13 (Sept.).

— Ode 8, Matins,  Fourth Thursday of Lent, Lenten Triodion

St. Romanos the Melodist: The Most High planted in the middle of Paradise The thrice blessed wood . . .

Icon Good Thief“The Most High planted in the middle of Paradise The thrice blessed wood, the gift of life for us, In order that, in approaching it, Adam might find eternal and immortal life, But he did not strive earnestly to know this life, And he failed to attain it, and revealed death. However, the robber, seeing how the plant in Eden Had been beautifully transplanted in Golgotha, Recognized the life in it and said to himself: `This is what my father lost formerly In Paradise.'”

+ St. Romanos the Melodist, On the Adoration at the Cross

St. Nikolai Velimirovich: What does it mean to take up your cross? . . .

Icon Take Up Cross“What does it mean to take up your cross? I means the willing acceptance, at the hand of Providence, of every means of healing, bitter though it may be, that is offered. Do great catastrophies fall on you? Be obedient to God’s will, as Noah was. Is sacrifice demanded of you? Give yourself into God’s hands with the same faith as Abram had when he went to sacrifice his son. Is your property ruined? Do your children die suddenly? Suffer it all with patience, cleaving to God in your heart, as Job did. Do your friends forsake you, and you find yourself surrounded by enemies? Bear it all without grumbling, and with faith that God’s help is at hand, as the apostles did.”Book St Nikolai Homilies

+ St. Nikolai Velimirovich, “The Great Fast – Third Sunday: Of the Holy Cross,” Homilies Volume 1: Commentary on the Gospel Readings for Great Feasts and Sundays Throughout the Year

Lenten Triodian: Worshiping Thee, O Christ our God, with cedar, pine, and cypress . . .

Icon Lot Watering Cypress Pine CedarWorshiping Thee, O Christ our God, with cedar, pine and cypress, The Church cries out to Thee: At the prayers of the Theotokos, grant victory to our rulers and have mercy upon us. [Isa. 60:13 (Sept.)]

Exalt ye the Lord our God: and worship at His footstool, for He is holy.

O Christ my God, nailed for my sake to the Cross, in Thy love accept my praise and vigils.

— Sessional Hymns of the Cross (Tone 7), Matins, Fourth Wednesday of Lent

St. Nikolai Velimirovich: Many complain against technology. . . .

Pic Technology 2Many complain against technology.

Many accuse modern technology for all the woes in the world.

Is technology really to blame, or those who create technology and use it?

Is a wooden cross to blame if somebody crucifies someone on it?

Is a hammer to blame if a neighbor breaks his neighbors skull?

Technology does not feel good or evil.

The same pipes can be used for drinking water or the sewer.

Evil does not come from unfeeling, dead technology, but from the dead hearts of people.

+ St. Nikolai Velimirovich, From the Complete Works of Bishop Nikolai [in Serbian], Book 12, p. 23. Translated from the Serbian by Marija Miljkovic.

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St. John Cassian: . . . For there is nothing in your preaching to offend them.

Icon of St. John Cassian“Tell me then, you heretic, you enemy of all men, but of yourself above all— to whom the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ is an offense as with the Jews, and foolishness as with the Gentiles, you who reject the mysteries of true salvation, with the stumbling of the former, and are foolish with the stubbornness of the others, why was the preaching of the Apostle Paul foolishness to the pagans, and a stumbling-block to the Jews? Surely it would never have offended men, if he had taught that Christ was, as you maintain He is, a mere man? For who would think that His birth, passion, cross, and death were incredible or a difficulty? Or what would there have been novel or strange about the preaching of Paul, if he had said that a merely human Christ suffered that which human nature daily endures among men everywhere? But it was surely this that the foolishness of the Gentiles could not receive, and the unbelief of the Jews rejected; namely, that the Apostle declared that Christ whom they, like you, fancied to be a mere man, was God. This it certainly was which the thoughts of these wicked men rejected, which the ears of the faithless could not endure; namely, that the birth of God should be proclaimed in the man Jesus Christ, that the passion of God should be asserted, and the cross of God proclaimed. This it was which was a difficulty: this was what was incredible; for that was incredible to the hearing of men, which had never been heard of as happening to the Divine nature. And so you are quite secure, with such an announcement and teaching as yours, that your preaching will never be either foolishness to the Gentiles or a stumbling-block to the Jews. You will never be crucified with Peter by Jews and Gentiles, nor stoned with James, nor beheaded with Paul. For there is nothing in your preaching to offend them.”

+ St. John Cassian, “On the Incarnation: Contra Nestorius” – Book III Chapter 9