|Orthodox Calendar 2021|
Hieromartyr Basil, priest, of Ancyra (363).
Virgin-confessor Drosis of Antioch, daughter of Emperor Trajan, and with her five Virgin-martyrs (ca. 104-117). St. Isaac the Confessor, founder of the Dalmatian Monastery at Constantinople (4th c.). New Confessor Schema-abbess Sophia (Grineva) of Kiev (1941).
Martyrs Callinica and Basilissa, of Rome (2nd c.). St. Paul, bishop of Narbonne, Brittany (3rd c.). New Monk-martyr Euthymius of Demitsana and Mt. Athos, at Constantinople (1814). St. Artemon, bishop of Seleucia (1st c.).
Thoughts for Each Day of the Year
|Saint Basil openly continued to preach and denounce the Arians. Therefore, he became the victim of persecution and was subjected to punishment as a man dangerous to the state.|
|Saint Drosis was daughter of the emperor Trajan (98-117), a fierce persecutor of Christians.|
|Saint Isaac lived during the fourth century, received monastic tonsure and pursued ascetic labors in the desert.|
|This holy New Martyr of Christ was born in Demitsana in the Peloponnesos. His parents were Panagiotes and Maria, and he was given the name Eleutherius in Baptism.|
St. Ignatius (Brianchaninov)The thief in the Gospels who ascended this ladder ascended from out of terrible crimes into most radiant heavenly habitations. From his cross he pronounced words filled with humility of wisdom; in humility of wisdom he entered into the knowledge of God, and through the knowledge of God, he acquired heaven. We receive the due reward of our deeds, he said. Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom
Archbishop Dmitri (Royster)The Cross is our badge and emblem as Christians. Remove the Cross from our lives and we have nothing. Without the Cross, both in Christ’s life and in ours, there is no genuine Christianity and consequently, no reason to observe Lent or any other sacred season. This fact may seem self-evident. Yet ours is a time in which words like sin, repentance, sacrifice, the Cross and crucifixion, are misunderstood, being viewed even by some Christians with suspicion, as "negative" terms, at least when applied to our own lives.
Archpriest Alexander ShargunovThe human soul is more precious than anything in the world. It must be saved at any price, even if this price seems too high in many people’s opinions. We belong to the Church of martyrs and confessors. The holy martyrs are witnesses: giving your life for Christ means gaining it and accomplishing it to the fullest.
Archimandrite Tikhon (Shevkunov)“The Cross is the guardian of the whole world; the Cross is the beauty of the Church, the Cross is the might of kings; the Cross is the confirmation of the faithful, the Cross is the glory of angels and the wounding of demons.” The Church’s beauty lies in fulfilling the commandments and in being faithful to God.
Fr. Stephen FreemanIn the feast of the Holy Cross, the hymnography at one point makes the statment, “The Tree heals the Tree.” It is one of the marvelous commentaries on the life of grace and its relationship to the human predicament. It refers to the relationship between the Cross of Christ and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
|The Cross reminds us of the Passion of our Lord, and by presenting to us His example, it encourages us to follow Him in struggle and sacrifice, being refreshed, assured, and comforted.|
Fr. Milan MedakovicThe Church gives us the cross at this point, the halfway point, of the fast to inspire us. The cross is given to show us the direction in which we are headed; that we are headed to the crucifixion of our Lord and His Holy Resurrection. This should be where we are headed with our own lives; the crucifixion of our self-will that allows us to perform God’s will, which allows our lives to be resurrected to the life that God intended for us.
|Today's Gospel summarizes how we are to live, and why. It tells us about real reality. Not what the world tells us is real, but about how a Christian should live, how a Christian should think, how he should be. Our Lord said, " Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me."|
Blessed Theophylact of OchridSee that Christ does not compel a man to die on a cross against his own will. Instead He said, Whosoever desireth. The Lord is saying: "I compel no one. I invite him to something good, not to something bad to which he must be forced. Whoever does not want these things is not worthy of them."
Archbishop Andrei (Rymarenko)Right now, as we approach and kiss the Cross, let us say with the wise thief, "Lord, remember me in Thy kingdom!" We may not have another minute. So let us use this minute which the Lord gives us: "Thy Cross, O Lord, we venerate and Thy Holy Resurrection we glorify."