“Let God arise!” – why we pray to the Cross

The prayer of Honest and Vivifying Cross of the Lord Orthodox Christians read every day she comes in the evening usually. This prayer is beautiful and clear, but if we understand correctly invested in it meaning? On the day the leave-taking of the feast of the Exaltation of the meaning and content of prayer to dismantle the Cross, Archpriest Igor Prekup.

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Let God arise, and at once be scattered to His and Yes bezhat from His hating Him. Yako smoke disappears, they shall be destroyed; as melts wax from faces of fire, tacos Besi perish from those who love God and samanwaya the sign of the cross and in joy cried: rejoice, o most honorable and life-giving cross of the Lord, progonnaya demons force you propecia of our Lord Jesus Christ descended into hell and trampled on the power Diavolo, and gave us thee His Cross Honest for the driving away of every adversary. Oh, most honorable and life-giving Cross of the Lord! Help me with the Holy Lady Virgin Theotokos and all the saints forever and ever. Amen.

Let’s take a step by step look at the contents of this prayer, which consists of two parts: Easter is essentially the glorification and personalized (which confuses some of us) turn to the Cross.

Let God arise, and at once be scattered to His and Yes bezhat from His hating Him. Yako smoke disappears, they shall be destroyed; as melts wax from faces of fire, tacos Besi perish from those who love God and samanwaya the sign of the cross, and the fun saying…

Archpriest Igor Prekup. Photo: Stanislav Moshkov/rus.postimees.ee

The beginning of prayer the Cross is almost identical with the first four verses of the 67th Psalm: let God arise, and at once be scattered to His and Yes bezhat from His hating Him. Yako smoke disappears, disappears yeah, as melts wax from faces of fire, tacos perish sinners from the face of God, and the righteous be glad Yes, Yes rejoice before God, let him delight in gladness (PS. 67: 1-4). This is a Messianic Psalm, in which “the Prophet depicts the coming of the Lord, the overthrow of the enemies of mental and spiritual captivity ends” (SVT. Athanasius The Great). Interestingly, the prayer of the Cross begins with thoughts about the victorious resurrection of Christ. The cross is not the end but the prelude to the Resurrection.

The beginning of the Psalm is the cry of Moses, according to the book of Numbers: When the ark set out, Moses said, rise up, o Lord, and let Thine enemies be scattered, and flee from Thy hate Thee! (Num. 10: 35). Together with a number of reputable commentators we assume that king David sang of the 67th Psalm in the transfer of the Ark of the Covenant from the house of Obed-Edom to Zion tabernacle in Jerusalem. The Psalmist, therefore, draws a parallel with the journey of Israel in the wilderness, and prays to God, says FR. Grigory Razumovsky, “continue the same act in relation to His people as He had acted hitherto, peraleja His enemies and His people. He kind of says so here: God has no need of great preparation for the defeat of the enemies; because they are in His power, and that is enough for Him to lift a finger, and they all crumble. The enemies, which the Psalmist here speaks, are those of wicked enemies of the Church of God who gathered together against the Lord and against His Christ (PS. 2: 2) to destroy Their Kingdom; they were divided in their intentions and forces, and those who hate the truth of God will not be able to endure His light, convicting them, and they flee from His presence”.

This is a literal interpretation of the beginning of the 67th Psalm. However, we are considering the prayer of the Cross emerges its spiritual interpretation, expressed, in particular, in the words of blessed John Paul II. Theodoret Kirrskago: “the Divine David, seeing vodolagina people the wickedness and the prevalence of the devil, and taught by the Holy Spirit about the coming of God and our Savior, brings a prayer, asking that it is signified, as soon as possible; and immediately receives the revelation of the future; together and teaches, and offers teaching on the salvation of the human race, death of enemies, briefly tell about an extraordinary change of Affairs.”

Who are these “enemies”? Of course, St. David had in mind those of whom he writes FR. Gregory, but only if they, and their first?.. A literal interpretation, as it illuminates only the historically determined the content of the sacred text, while the spiritual interpretation is deep, timeless, eternal meaning and significance. According to SVT. Athanasius the Great, prayer the cry of Moses, played by king David, “expresses the impulse of God to execute judgment over the impure demons; because with His coming the demons are deprived of the power to musiclistening over people”. That blessed John Paul II. The IBAS, instead: “…the Prayer he brought not against people, but against demons, warring on the people.”

An outstanding interpreter of the Scriptures Euthymius, Shaban writes about the meaning of “rebellion” to God: “Inasmuch as before the coming of Christ the demons have had dominion over men, and no angel nor man was aid them enslaved people, therefore, David with these words of the Creator himself asks the people of God on charity care under the brutal power of His creations. Herewith ought decently to submit to God’s rebellion, namely the action of God in relation to protection. <…> The enemies of God in the proper sense are understood demons as apostates and enemies of His.” Not people, mind you, but demons.

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It is very important for understanding Christian attitudes towards enemies. Not playing down the role of evil in someone else’s sorrows and soberly assessing the possibility of their free will, not freeing them from moral and legal responsibility for their choices and not denying the rights of the individual and society can protect ourselves, we Zapovednaya take a sober look at them as, albeit voluntary, but still nothing more than conductors of evil, which are evil spirits. Because the Apostle Paul admonishes us to remember that our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places (Eph. 6: 12).

And, according to patristic teaching, “who will palatoplasty demons, he will not palatoplasty people”, and means “who will palatoplasty people, he made friends with the demons.”

To give too much importance to what comes from people is a dangerous delusion. It is necessary to be aware that people going on about demons – he is their first victim, and not the man regarded as the source of evil is necessary, and devils who without it can hurt us, in particular, SEWA us intentions in the middle, causing us, even if justified, but still sinful condemnation, hostility, cowardice, etc. Otherwise it turns out that a person, even if unsound, we shy away, and in themselves give the devil space.

The same applies to the words of the Psalm, “let sinners perish from the face of God”. Who are these “sinners” who “disappear like smoke, and as wax melts before the fire, and they from the face of God”? Who among us has not sinned? Those who are aware of themselves as such, should be afraid to read those words… How is it? We have that much to imagine the destruction, likening the dissipated smoke and causea wax?! Explain.

Tacos Besi perish…

First, as noted by blessed John Paul II. The IBAS, instead, “is named from the seventy (the Septuagint, or “translation of the seventy interpreters”: the first translation of the old Testament from Hebrew into Greek, made in the III–II centuries BC, according to legend, seventy two Jewish scholars to Alexandria in the Diaspora. – I. P.) “sinners” all other interpreters called “wicked”. So he calls them and the Hebrew text, and the Syrian translator”. Second, even if you take this generalizing translation, “the sinners”, as explained by Euthymius, Zigaben, it should be understood the evil spirits, because “they first gave rise to sin and became mentors in the hold and for the people”. However, blessed John Paul II. The IBAS, instead, as noted above, believes that “wicked” is the devils.

As for the wishes to them of perdition, something, according to Euthymius, Zigaben, referring to SWT. Athanasius the Great, “demons are thinning from the presence of Christ, who is the fire that consumes sin; where the word “perish” does not mean permit them to destruction, but that they will not obratytsya already on the ground, which overshadows the presence of Christ.”

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In the same sense, only in slightly different aspect interprets this place of SVT. Gregory of Nyssa, who indignantly rejects the attempts of “fans dispute”, referring to such places in Scripture, “the goodness of God to do sodeistviya its cruelty”. He is convinced that, “like praying, that was not sick, was not a mendicant, not desiring the death of people and destruction of the disease and of poverty: and each of the saints, praying that it’s in the destruction of all the hostile and unfriendly nature, only the most ignorant people gives rise to such thoughts, as if the saints are angry and annoyed against people. For the Psalmist, saying: let the sinners fail from the earth, and the wicked be no more (PS. 103: 35), praying to disappear sin and iniquity; because no man is hostile, but the vicious movement of outrage United with him by nature is an enemy to him. Therefore David prays that the evil has disappeared; but the man of evil” (Sermon on the Lord’s prayer).

Like other Holy fathers, SVT. Gregory “enemies” of vengeance which calls king David understood the demons. However, not only them, but also cultivated them within us sinful passions.

“Like smoke, razonables through the air, and leaves no sign of his existence, and the wax being cast into the fire, is no more: so if someone snide divine grace and assistance, prevailed in it, once passions are turning into nothing. Do not tolerate the presence of light darkness, and the disease is not joint with full health, and passions do not act with the dispassion” (op. CIT. in the Explanatory Psalter Euphemia of Zygaena).

…From those who love God…

There are contrasting: on the one hand, “hate Him”, who “flee”, “disappear” and “die”, and on the other “love God”. Who are these lovers? The idea is – we are judging on the basis of “znamenosets the sign of the cross” and “the fun saying…” and further in the text. Well, Yes, marks, fingers folding gently, and glaholm also not on any defiled by the domestic language and the sacred Church… what?

If our love comes to “znamenovanie” and “glagoly”, it is appropriate to remember and wince: Not everyone who says to Me: “o Lord! O Lord!” will enter the Kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of My Father in Heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, Lord! Lord! if not in Your name we prophesied? and in Thy name have cast out devils? and in Thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them I never knew you; depart from Me, ye that work iniquity (Matt. 7: 21-23). And “marked”, and “spoke”, and even miracles in the name It worked, but, apparently, He “never knew”.

The word “and” is not to say that the preceding follows from the subsequent, i.e., that the person “marked” and “saith” that he is “loving God.” Not necessary. Of course, overshadowing the sign of the cross and prayer to God must be led by love and to testify to it. Yes, they must be in causal connection, because the prayers and the ceremony outside, which should follow and, in turn, is intended to serve its consolidation and development, for “the form protects the spirit,” but that is not always the case, as it should be.

Woe to us if we do not love God, but bitter sorrow, if it still pulls on the mask of love, “samenas” and “verb”, simulating love, but not bothering her selfless implementation.

Oddly enough, however, I was faced with this position that the love of God is expressed in the Charter of piety in neopolitana the enforcement rule of prayer, regular attendance at religious services, in strict observance of the posts, and only having mastered it all, you can start “practicing” love of neighbor. Result in the example of Zacchaeus, who allegedly first, Christ loved, climbing on the tree and happily taking Him in my house, and then loved the middle, willing to give half of the estate to the poor, and if I have cheated anyone, to repay fourfold (LK. 19: 1-10). And good to be told these people are illiterate, the Scriptures in the hands not holding, right there! The adherents of the above-described falsification of Christianity can be certified, and then “ostepenennyh” graduates of the spiritual and theological educational institutions. Here the problem is not stupidity and not the lack of information. It is a moral choice.

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After all, the Apostle John the Theologian explains quite clearly: Who says, “I love God” and hates his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God Whom he has not seen (1 Jn. 4: 20). Yes, and the love of God in the gospel where it is said simply: he that hath My commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me… <…> …if Anyone loves Me, he will keep My word… he that loveth Me not keepeth not My words (Jn. 14: 21-24). It would seem that to split hairs here? And that’s because…

So actually (and not in order to deceive) disappear like smoke devils by prayer and the sign of the cross those who are sincere of their love of God, i.e. living according to His commandments. Not from time to time comes on them, depending on how favorable the circumstances, but it lives on them, or should I say them.

…And samanwaya the sign of the cross…

A few words about the form which the spirit saves. Remember, once upon a time, back in the time of my diaconita, I was sitting in the waiting room of our late Metropolitan, the then Bishop, Cornelius. I went to see him the Chairman of the local old believers ‘ communities, too, sat down on the couch, waiting. Talking. I started asking about the features of the old believers, he sees them. Not that I’m very much hoping for a serious theological debate, but still wanted to hear the “natural” representative, not of the writer-theorist with any side. He had hesitated, then said, “Well, for example… because you Have as cross?.. Fingers as you fold, like this, right? he said, somewhat uncertainly, adding the first three finger pinch (thanks for not even rubbed them together). – And we – that’s so…” And put diapersthe.

No, he made no warlike solemn gesture raised his arm over his head, did not say inspirational speeches. As he sat, and sat, only the fingers differently folded, but in the way he did, rather, how they had happened, and how he said its “so” there was something convincing… Not in the sense, of course, that only one diapersthe saving and troeperstie false, no.

The conviction was in relation to the Shrine, which was felt in everything: in the emerging movement of the fingers, face, in the sound of his “so”. There was no doubt that this simple if the cross, demons flee, and as the smoke clears, and as the wax melts.

But it does not reduce the credibility and power to its internal state, which will inevitably lead to the idea that it’s about inner strength, about a kind of psychic energy, concentrated through auto-suggestion. The power I felt in him, talked about him some personal psychic abilities. Here’s the other thing.

How simple is the faith of man, as it is deep and strong, so neposredstvennoe stronger and his inner connection with God, saints and sacred area. Faith is not only focused on your subject, but, first and foremost, it opens the person to God, allow Him to act in person, and then for such bearers of God, nothing is impossible. I will specify only, that by faith is meant not only confidence in the existence of God and the truth of dogmas, but a life on that faith, i.e., all what is said above: living a life of faith is living the gospel.

Saint Ignatios Bryanchaninov says that “vain and fruitless his cross, as he was heavy if in the service of Christ he is not transformed in the Cross of Christ.” Love erected the son of God on the Cross, so the change of his cross, in the Cross of Christ occurs, according to St. Ignatius, “when the disciple of Christ bears it with an active consciousness of his sinfulness”, and slabakova thanks to God; when the commandments of Christ “sodelyvaetsya his cross on which he constantly crucifying the old man with its passions and pochote him (Gal. 5: 24)”.

For such a person the Cross on which Christ was crucified – not some ancient instrument of punishment, not even just specific, made with this goal post with crossbar, intended for Barabbas, however, the sin of the chief priests and elders and demand they manipulated the Madding crowd of fanatics inherited by Jesus. And not only the Altar on which were once offered the last bloody Sacrifice, preobrazovany the old Testament sacrifices, and which was subsequently uncovered and divided into many parts. But this Altar, he who abides in eternity, the Altar on which the Lord ascended, being moved by love for man, the Altar of love and freedom, the Altar on which man builds love, for the sake of his liberation from the diabolical, without which all other freedom is illusory.

Depicting the sign of the cross (marking the cross) himself on someone or something, we have thus, prayer (Yes, you can pray not only in word but in gesture) are connected with the depicted dwelling in eternity the cross – a calling for themselves and celebrate the power of the Lord, exempt from the power of the evil one and strengthen in truth and love, but at the same time remind ourselves about the necessity of the crucifixion of Christ and, again, ask Him to strengthen us in this feat.

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We symbolically depicted it to himself, what does that mean? The symbol should be understood not just sign with a particular meaning and sign, apparently pointing to the invisible reality. When we talk about the symbolism of the cross, we are talking about the mysterious communication taken by us the mark of the cross and the saving cross of the Lord; when we talk about co-crucifixion with Christ and bearing his cross, we mean not only the patient endurance of afflictions that fall to our share, but a mysterious relationship established between us and Crucified for our salvation the Son of man. Of course, if not only we suffer, but we suffer in Christ, i.e. in the spirit of His commandments, the gospel.

…And the fun saying: rejoice, most-pure and life-giving Cross of the Lord…

And here we come to the most criticised scene for humanitarian wise adherents of the faith who fear (not without reason, as already noted) the pagan influences on the Church’s consciousness. In fact, the Cross is still an inanimate object, what would it grace may be rested. Chant it in the second person, i.e., addressing him as a person, as if giving his personal qualities is a formal occasion to suspect we are not only distorted the pagan way of personal religiosity, but in the distortion of the whole Church of consciousness, because this prayer is included in the evening prayer rule and generally widely recommended as protection from demons. There will not dismiss, say, one of the many side effects of the Orthodox revival, you never know who and what is written, published, practicing

How can we not recall the words attributed to SVT. Gregory Dialogus: “Ignorance is the mother of true godliness”? And wise Ecclesiastes seemed about the same: …In much wisdom is much grief; and he that increaseth knowledge, increaseth sorrow (ECC. 1: 18). Did SVT. Gregory Dialogus the above mentioned phrase, it is “unknowable”, but one thing is to recognize all should be: no big Luggage of knowledge on Philology, philosophy, history, literature, etc. to believe in simplicity of heart easier (sorry for a pun). This does not mean that human knowledge without faith is better. It is not necessary. They can (and are designed) to contribute to a deeper faith, its development, when the stumbling block becomes a tool for knowing God.

As described, however, a situation where the conversion to Cross enter into temptation, you can probably speak of knowledge as an obstacle causing the grief, not because knowledge is bad or unnecessary, but because it turns out that they have stumbled on is his wealth.

Yes, having the slightest idea about mythology, we know that personification is a common thing in mythology. Elements, for example, personifizierte, becoming from the impersonal forces of nature deity has a personality. But the fact of the matter is that confident to talk about the pagan spirit of prayer Cross just themselves and sin of the mythological method, so to speak. Mythology because, unlike philosophy or science, to judge of the unknown by the known, transferring to the region of the unknown familiar patterns and explaining her incomprehensible understandable in the usual categories.

Here and there, faced with the personification, transferred the knowledge of it known pagan mythology into the unknown region of spiritual experience (fans of A. F. Losev, to which he treat, I must say that deliberately not talking about Christian mythology, so as not to confuse anyone with his legacy not familiar) experience that is, the study of liturgical theology.

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Personification is the technique anthropopathism, i.e. attribution in the mythology of gods (for example) of human senses. In a broad sense we can talk about anthropomorphism – attributing to the gods (as well as animals and inanimate objects) generally human characteristics, primarily external. But here’s what you should pay attention: the mythological, the pagan anthropomorphism literally, whereas the Bible is conditional. The Greeks, the “spontaneous materialists”, in the Olympic period of his mythology thought of the gods like people, they are, in fact, created them “in his image and likeness”. Their gods are different from people except that of immortality and power (but not omnipotence – that they did not have).

Bible anthropomorphism “default” involves the transcendence of God is Holy, Almighty and hunted for His creation. That’s how SWT. John Chrysostom explains the essence of biblical anthropomorphism, for example, the following fragment: And heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day (Gen. 3: 8): “…Such simple words are used for the sake of our infirmity, and everything is done blagopoluchno for our salvation. In fact, tell me if you want to take words literally and won’t understand the reported bogorodychne (my italics. – I. P.), that does not seem strange if a lot? What do they say? God goes? Do legs ascribe to Him? How, indeed, shall He Who is everywhere and fills all, whose throne is heaven, and the earth the footstool goes to heaven? He was determined to excite in them the feeling (proximity to God), to plunge them into anxiety, that was really the case: they felt it, tried to escape from the approaching (to them) God. Have prevzoshel sin and crime, and attacked them shame.”

Divine Revelation, the Lord introduces us to the supernatural mystery of the origin of the world and man, sin and salvation. The cross – part of the mystery, and because the veneration of the cross – is also mysterious.

The spiritual mind cannot fit the mystery of the ordinary rational language cannot Express. A prominent theologian of the Russian Diaspora, Vladimir N. Lossky, thinking in “Dogmatic theology” of the Holy Trinity, wrote that “St. Gregory the Theologian, the greatest theologian of the Holy Trinity, could talk about this mystery in the form of poetic, because only poetry is capable of in the words of the show supernatural (my italics. – I. P). <…> So Trinity is the initial mystery, the Holy of Holies of the divine reality the very life of the hidden God, the Living God. Only poetry can provide us with this mystery; it is precisely because the poetry of praise and does not claim to explain” (my italics. – I. P).

Here is the answer to confusion about the personalization of the cross: there is no literal giving an inanimate object personality, no service of worship, proper to God alone. This veneration, as appropriate to the Holy Angels and people and places, objects and even time periods. Personalization of the cross in the prayer is artistic and poetic reception, in this case, the appropriate and necessary because, as in any literary text, it performs semantic and text forming function and creates expressiveness of the individual parts of the text (E. V. Serebryakova. Personification as a technique of allegory).

(To be continued)

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