The autumn Pascha

Reverend Ioan Istrati

Today is the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, the autumn Pascha, the turning point of the year, the opening of heaven.

Today, I learned that God’s embrace is the unique sign of the created universe. Today, I discovered that the infinite love of the Infinite One is the greatest power beyond galaxies. Today, we become disciples at the seat of God’s suffering. Today, we feel a drop from the ocean of His suffering when He took us on His back, we the unworthy splinters of the Cross, and carried us through death to eternal life. Today, we learn that He died alone, with the entire world’s pain on His back and in His chest, walking with eyes longing to see His Mother once more, purer than the heavens. Gasping from the pains of death, He loved us infinitely, those who crucified Him. In His eyes, filled with blood from thorns and divine tears, all billions of groundless people passed, those who trampled Him down with all His Cross, and sin, and suffering, and stupidity louder than the stormy waves of the sea, and indifference, and the world’s filth, all of it. And still, He loved us.

If at His Birth, the animals blew into the manger to warm the Child greater than the universe, now the plant kingdom, the feeders with light and water, caressed Him through the Cross that received His Blood as the sap of the universe. And all the forests wept when His shoulder was torn by wood, and all the flowers bowed their heads, for their Sun had set on the earth. And all wooden cradles full of infants rocked and sighed. And all coffins creaked in pain, prophetically announcing the Resurrection.

The wood, the holy relics of trees, then felt the Creator’s pain.

Only we felt nothing.

Today, I have come to understand that God’s love holds the axle of the Cross of the universe and that space itself, with its cardinal points, is a Cross of nature on which Christ loves us, with His hands raised, embracing us and weeping.

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