The Sunday of the Holy Cross is the mid-point of Great Lent and it is placed here as a point of respite and inspiration. As with any endeavor of magnitude, there comes a point when fatigue can set in, determination may waiver, and the toil seems difficult. Lent is a major endeavor in our lives and three weeks of fasting done according to strength can weaken our resolve to continue our physical and spiritual struggle.
It is at this point that we are invited to look upon the Cross and to remember the salvific work of Jesus Christ. We can also think back to St. Constantine and his vision of the Cross, when he heard the words “In this conquer.” We, too, draw our strength from the Cross and place our trust not in our abilities, but in God’s loving grace and His ever-present strength, which is made perfect in weakness. Indeed, Lent is the par-excellence place where we confront our limitations and our weaknesses. It is the place where we teach ourselves to rely less on ourselves and more on “the One Who holds all things.” It is the place where we place our focus squarely on eternal things.
Last night at Vespers, we sang: “Rejoice! life-giving Cross, unconquerable trophy of the true faith, door to Paradise, succor of the faithful, rampart set about the Church. Through you the curse is utterly destroyed, the power of death is swallowed up, and we are raised from earth to heaven: invincible weapon, adversary of demons, glory of martyrs, true ornament of holy monks, haven of salvation bestowingon the world great mercy.”
Let us keep these words as our companions through the week, remembering the strength that comes through the Cross of Christ, that we, too, may conquer ourselves through the fast and give offer ourselves to Christ as purified vessels of His grace.
With love in Christ,