While addressing the believers present Friday on the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross at Caraiman Monastery, His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel said that ‘the Holy Cross is the sign of salvation’.
Christ sacrificed Himself on the cross out of love for humans, so that we could gain eternal life, salvation.
The Patriarch noted that Christ the Lord conquered Old Adam’s disobedience through his obedience to death, ‘fulfilling the will of the Father who sent Him to be the Saviour of the world.’
‘He showed Himself humble unto death so that He may heal and correct the sin of our first parents Adam and Eve, who sinned through their disobedience to God.’
Christ on the other hand ‘became obedient unto death because the Old Adam, urged by the devil, desired to become like God but in disobedience to God, in the breaking of the loving communion with God,’ His Beatitude said Sept. 14.
Patriarch Daniel cautioned that we often repeat this sin ‘when we disobey God, when we lack humility, pridefully considering ourselves better or smarter than others and forgetting that all our virtues, intelligence, beauty, spiritual and physical power come from God the Giver.’
Love is stronger than sin
During his homily, the Patriarch of Romania referred to Christ’s love manifested on the Cross saying that this love is ‘stronger than hatred, sin, death, the devil and hell.’
‘This humble, and yet almighty love manifested in Jesus Christ is symbolized by the sign of the Holy Cross.’
That is why ‘the Holy Cross is a sign that is dreadful to demons because they see the humble Christ crucified; they, who are proud, see the Merciful and Forgiving One crucified; they who are evil see Christ the Holy One.’
‘When we cross ourselves,’ the Patriarch noted, ‘we summarise hundreds and thousands of theology books speaking about God’s love shown in Jesus Christ for the salvation of the world.’
Christ was crucified because of hatred
The patriarch went on to refer to Christ’s forgiveness and patience since he did not respond to the wickedness of those who crucified him.
‘Our Saviour Jesus Christ was crucified because of envy and hatred, but he did not respond to evil with evil, to hatred with hatred. He answered with a humble patience and forgiveness.’
That is why Jesus did not curse his persecutors, but he prayed for them saying, ‘Father, forgive them for not knowing what they are doing.’
‘Every time we make the sign of the Holy Cross we refer to God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,’ the Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church said adding that ‘in Christ’s love on the cross the humble love of the Most Holy Trinity was made manifest’.
Patriarch Daniel ended his speech by presenting historic details about the Feast of the Universal Exaltation of the Holy Cross.
The Exaltation of the Holy Cross Hermitage was founded in 2000 during the stewardship of Patriarch Teoctist Arapasu.
A first wooden chapel was consecrated in 2001 in honour of the Protection of the Mother of God.
The Exaltation of the Holy Cross main church was consecrated by Patriarch Daniel on Sept. 14, 2014.
The Caraiman Hermitage was elevated to the rank of monastery in 2008.
Photography courtesy of Raluca Ene / Basilica.ro