“Whoa, we’re half way there”: Finding Strength in the Cross

In the journey of Great Lent, Orthodox Christians find themselves at a pivotal midpoint, where the weight of fasting, prayer, and introspection may feel burdensome. Yet, it is precisely at this juncture that the Cross becomes a beacon of strength, guiding believers through the challenges of the spiritual struggle.

The Saints of the Church offer so much to us on the blessedness of the CROSS.

As Saint John Chrysostom eloquently expressed, “The Cross is the school of wisdom.”

At the heart of Orthodox spirituality lies the transformative power of the Cross. It is not merely an emblem of suffering, but a symbol of victory over sin and death. 

Saint Ignatius Brianchaninov reminds us, “The Cross is the sanctuary of the afflicted.” In the midst of our Lenten disciplines, the Cross beckons us to embrace our struggles with courage and faith, knowing that through them, we draw closer to Christ.

During this midpoint of Great Lent, Saint John Climacus encourages believers to persevere in their ascetic endeavors, for “The Cross is the ladder to heaven.” 

Saint Seraphim of Sarov teaches that through the Cross, we discover the path to true freedom: “Acquire the Spirit of Peace, and thousands around you will be saved.” 

In embracing the Cross, we find liberation from the passions that entangle us, and become beacons of Christ’s peace to those around us.The Lenten journey is not one of despair, BUT OF HOPE. 

In the midst of our Lenten struggles, we are called to unite ourselves to Christ in His suffering, trusting that through His passion, He will lead us to the glory of His resurrection.

As we are at the mid-point of Great Lent, the Cross stands as a source of strength and inspiration. Through the wisdom of the saints, we are reminded that in embracing the Cross, we find victory over sin, freedom from the passions, and communion with God. 

Let us, therefore, journey onward with courage and hope, knowing that through the Cross, we are united to the love of Christ, who strengthens us in our Lenten pilgrimage.