Liturgical Time

Trophy of victory

Cross at night

We are celebrating the feast of the cross which drove away darkness and brought in the light. As we keep this feast, we are lifted up with the crucified Christ, leaving behind us earth and sin so that we may gain the things above. So great and outstanding a possession is the cross that the one who wins it has won a treasure. Rightly could I call this treasure the fairest of all fair things and the costliest, in fact as well as in name, for on it and through it and for its sake the riches of salvation that had been lost were restored to us.

Had there been no cross, Christ could not have been crucified. Had there been no cross, death would not have been trodden underfoot, nor hell despoiled.

The cross is both the sign of God’s suffering and the trophy of victory. It stands for suffering because on it he freely suffered unto death. But it is also his trophy because it was the means by which death was conquered. The cross became the one common salvation of the whole world.

Let nothing be preferred to the Work of God – Rule of Benedict 43:3

Excerpts from a discourse written by Saint Andrew of Crete (650 - 740 A.D.), part of the Office of Readings for September 14, Feast of The Exaltation of the Holy Cross