On the Veneration of the Holy Relics and Remains of the Saints (Part II)

Man was created for Incorruption

"God made not death: neither hath He pleasure in the destruction of the living" (Wisdom 1:13). "God created man for incorruption and made him to an image of His own eternity" (Wisdom 2:23). Corruption appeared after the fall. "Through the hatred of the devil death entered the world" (Wisdom 2:24). "Righteousness is immortal, but injustice causeth death" (Wisdom 1:15). "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 6:23).

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On the Veneration of the Holy Relics and Remains of the Saints

"Behold we count them happy which endure..." (James 5:11)

In the Apostolic Church, all the remains of the "friends of God," the righteous strugglers (1 Corinthians 9:25), were referred to as relics (lipsana) bones, heads, hair, hands, feet, and sometimes entire bodies, if there were preserved, through which the Lord God is glorified by mysterious wonders (miracles). The Protestant Lutherans and all sectarians reject the veneration of the holy remains of Christian strugglers, and, like the heretics of times past, laugh at this pious custom and scoff at Orthodox Christians who call upon the friends of God in their prayers to Him.

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Historical Account of the Feast of the Exaltation of the Precious Cross

In a third war fought by Constantine the Great with the Scythians along the River Danube, the weapon of salvation appeared in the heavens (sky), bringing victory as it had before. Thus, he became convinced of the power of Christ, Who was crucified upon the Cross. Believing in Him as the Only True God, he was baptized together with his praiseworthy mother Helen, who was full of love for God. It was Helen whom he sent to Jerusalem with great riches to search for the Precious and Holy Cross.

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In Anticipation of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (Part III)

As the psalmist says, "My heart was hot within me, while I was musing the fire burned" (Psalm 39:3). One of our God-bearing Fathers taught us about this, saying, "Strive as hard as you can to ensure that your inner labor is according to God's will, and you will conquer the outward passions." The great Paul, urging us on in the same direction, says, "Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh" (Galatians 5:16). Elsewhere he exhorts, "Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth" (Ephesians 6:14). For the contemplative part of the soul strengthens and supports the part concerned with desires, and chases away fleshly lusts...

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In Anticipation of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (Part II)

The Cross of Christ was mysteriously proclaimed in advance and foreshadowing from generations of old and no one was ever reconciled with God except by the power of the Cross. After our First Parents transgressed against God through the tree in Paradise, sin came to life, but we died, submitting, even before physical death, to the death of the soul, its separation from God. After the transgression we lived in sin and according to the flesh. Sin "is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God" (Romans 8:7-8).

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In Anticipation of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (September 14)

Let us consider what great blessings for us Christ's Cross has become the cause. For though the Lord's Cross sounds sad and bitter, it is in reality full of joy and radiance. For the Cross is the salvation of the Church; the Cross is the boast of those who hope in it; the Cross is the reconciliation of enemies to God and conversion of sinners to Christ. For through the Cross, we have been delivered from enmity, and through the Cross, we have been joined in friendship to God.

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