A tree of eternal life

Daily Reading for September 14 • Holy Cross Day

By nothing else except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ has death been brought low:

The sin of our first parent destroyed,

hell plundered,

resurrection bestowed,

the power given us to despise the things of this world,

even death itself,

the road back to the former blessedness made smooth,

the gates of paradise opened,

our nature seated at the right hand of God,

and we made children and heirs of God.

By the cross all these things have been set aright. . . .

It is a seal that the destroyer may not strike us,

a raising up of those who lie fallen,

a support for those who stand,

a staff for the infirm,

a crook for the shepherded,

a guide for the wandering,

a perfecting of the advanced,

salvation for soul and body,

a deflector of all evils,

a cause of all goods,

a destruction of sin,

a plant of resurrection,

and a tree of eternal life.

From Orthodox Faith by John of Damascus, quoted in Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture: New Testament II, Mark, edited by Thomas C. Oden and Christopher A. Hall (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 1998).

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