06 March 2008

Finding the Cross

Today Byzantine Catholics and Orthodox Christians commemorate the finding of the Precious Cross and Nails of the Lord at Jerusalem in 326 by the Holy Empress Helen. An old man named Judah told her that it was buried beneath a temple of Venus, so she had the pagan temple destroyed. Sure enough, three crosses were found. So, which one belonged to the Savior?

Patriarch Macarius saw a dead person being carried to his grave. He ordered that the dead man be placed upon each cross and the one that brought the corpse back to life was determined to be the Cross of Christ.

Over the last 1700 years the Cross has been captured, splintered and scattered throughout Christendom. You can find relics in the East and the West. One such relic is found at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.

Jesus overcame the curse of the human race by taking upon His own person. He vanquished death by undergoing death Himself, sin by identifying Himself with sin, and the serpent were all included in God's curse on the human race after the first sin, but the cross has triumphed over each of them.
~St. Augustine, Commentary on Galatians 22

The Cross always stands ready, and everywhere awaits you. You cannot escape it, wherever you flee; for wherever you go, you bear yourself, and always find yourself. Look up or down, without you or within, and everywhere you will find the Cross. And everywhere you must have patience, if you wish to attain inner peace, and win an eternal crown.
~Thomas a'Kempis, The Imitation of Christ

O Jesus! Whosoever does not take up his cross and follow Thee, is not worthy of Thee. Behold, I join Thee in the Way of Thy Cross; I will be Thy assistant, following Thy bloody footsteps, that I may come to Thee in eternal life. Lord Jesus, crucified, have mercy on us!
~ St. Francis of Assisi

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