Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Veneration Cross part 4- Subdeacon Damascene the Studite

Thus, it is proper and worthy to venerate the Cross, as the Prophets themselves instruct us to do. The prophet David says,
"Let us worship at the place where His feet have stood" (Ps. 131:7). Elsewhere he commands, "Exalt ye the Lord our God, and worship the footstool of His feet"(Ps. 98:5). And once more he remarks, "Thou hast given a sign unto them that fear Thee, that they may flee from before the face of the bow" (Ps. 59:6). In other words, David, as if speaking to Christ, says: "You gave to the

Christians who fear You a sign to flee from the arrow." The sign is the Venerable Cross; for we make the sign of the Cross on our body.

The arrow symbolizes the devil, who is our enemy and who desires to assassinate our soul. And then he repeats, "Work in me a sign unto good, and let them that hate me behold and be put to shame" (Ps. 85:17). That is, David pleads and asks Christ, "Give me the sign of the Cross that will be beneficial for me, which will put all my adversaries (i.e., the demons) to shame when they see it. Similarly, the prophet Ezekiel instructs,
"Put a mark on their foreheads" (Ezk. 9:4). 

Whereas, the wise Solomon states, "For a wood was blessed, through which righteousness comes" (WSol.14:7). That is, the Cross through which
salvation was given is honored and venerated. The prophet Isaiah even specifies the type of wood the Cross was made of: "With the cypress, the pine, and the cedar together, to glorify My holy place" (Isa. 60:13).

Rejoice O Cross! You are the boast and glory of the entire world.
Rejoice O Cross! You are the strength of the weak and the support of the faithful. Rejoice O Cross! You are the companion of travelers, the victory of
those in battle, the salvation of them in danger. Rejoice O Cross! You are the teaching of the Apostles, the prophecy of the Prophets, the aid of the preachers, the boast of the martyrs, the delight of the ascetics, the venerable and honorable adornment of all the Saints. Rejoice O Cross!

You are the protector of all pious Christians. You are our guardian and weapon. You are our helper. With Your power and energy we put our enemies to shame, we overcome the demons, and we vanquish the pride of the Devil. Let us worship the Holy Cross my beloved Christians. Let us
venerate it and wholeheartedly adore it. Let us gaze at it with fear and joy: with fear on account of our sinfulness and unworthiness; with joy on
account of the grace that it bestows to us. 

Subdeacon Damascene the Studite
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