On the 3rdSunday of Lent, also called of the Holy Cross (3 April 2016), His Beatitude Daniel, Patriarch of Romania, celebrated the Divine Liturgy at the Chapel of the National Cathedral. The celebrating group consisted of archimandrite Paisie Teodorescu, Patriarchal Vicar, archimandrite Dionisie Constantin, Patriarchal Counsellor, archimandrite Ciprian Gradinaru, rev. fr. Ioan Dragomir, Patriarchal Counsellor.
Self-denial, taking up the cross and following Christ
The Patriarch of Romania underlined, in the sermon delivered, the fact thatthe Gospel text speaks about the spiritual meaning of the cross in the Christian’s life, so that this Sunday of the Holy Cross shows especially the relationship between the cross and Resurrection. The Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church told those present that the Holy Cross islighthouse, light, guide to Resurrection, but only if we spiritually carry the cross and spiritually understand it, as Jesus Christ, our Saviour, tells us in the Gospel text of the day.
Self-denial, assuming the cross and following Christ are the three conditions for attaining eternal life. It is about these requirements that the Primate of the Romanian Orthodox Church spoke to the faithful present in the chapel of the National Cathedral.
Self-denial means crucifixion of the passionate egotism from us in order to discover true freedom
His Beatitude explained that self-denial does not represent a denial of one’s self, but a denial of the narcissist love, of the possessive love for limited and temporary things, of everything that makes a human being forget about God and of his fellow beings. Self-denial does not mean doing away with one’s self, but its improvement.
“Self-denial means changing the way of living and thinking, understanding life, and doing good deeds in one’s life. Self-denial means crucifixion of our passionate egotism in order to discover the true freedom, that of loving God and our fellow human beings through good deeds. We are free to the extent to which we love God in prayer and our fellow human beings in good deeds. Self-denial is our change to attain true love. We crucify selfishness, selfish passions in order to find the freedom to pray and do good deeds not to be praised, but to spiritually grow similar to the Crucified and Risen Christand in communion with the Most Holy Trinity”, the Primate of the Romanian Orthodox Church underlined.
His Beatitude appreciated, at the end of the Divine Liturgy, the voluntary activity unfolded by those from the Chapel of the National Cathedral, emphasising “Donate blood, save a life” Campaign and “Good Health for Villages” Campaign coordinated by archimandrite Ciprian Grădinaru. While referring to the last one, His Beatitude considered that it is an extension of the Divine Liturgy; it is a “Liturgy of Good Health”.
As a sign of appreciation for the activity unfolded, His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel offered the Chapel of the National Cathedral several liturgical spiritually useful books. His Beatitude has received a blessing cross and a basket of flowers on behalf of the servant clergy of the place of worship.
“It is a day of spiritual joy for Your Beatitude’s visit and a day of spiritual joy of Lent”,archimandrite Paisie Teodorescu said at the end of the celebration, thanking the Patriarch of Romania for the joy brought to the clergy and faithful present at the Chapel of the National Cathedral by the celebration of the Divine Liturgy and the sermon delivered.
“Thank you very much for the spiritual joy that you offered us today, both to the clergy and the faithful from the Chapel of the National Cathedral, by the celebration of the Divine Liturgy, on this special Sunday of Lent, the Sunday of the Holy Cross, and for the sermon delivered in which you showed that taking up the Cross in our life means carrying it with Christ’s help, to be able to walk the way of the cross of our earthly life, the way to eternal life, to salvation and Resurrection. It is a day of spiritual joy for Your Beatitude’s visit and a day of spiritual joy of Lent due to the spiritual richness of meanings and teachings of this Sunday of the Holy Cross, which, as you showed us, keeps the joy of the Resurrection mysteriously hidden inside it, which is the main patronal feast of the Chapel of the National Cathedral”,Archimandrite Paisie Teodorescu, patriarchal vicar, said.
The liturgical answers were given byAnastasischurch choir of the Chapel of the National Cathedral.