Exaltation of the Cross
14/September/2007 Filed in: Chapter Talks
Has it ever struck you that, although Easter is a central theme of the Rule, with even the times of meals being arranged in relation to it, St Benedict says very little about Christ's Passion, save to mention in the Prologue that we "share by patience in the sufferings of Christ"? Unlike some later saints, he dwells on the Resurrection and the glory that is to come, rather than on the horrors of the Cross. The author of "The Dream of the Rood" seems to have had something of the same understanding, and although the extract we read at Midday Prayer will indeed mention the blood and the nails, we shall be left with the vision of the victorious young Warrior and the awe inspired in the wood of the Cross which bore him. Today's feast is a celebration of triumph. Let us celebrate it with joy and thanksgiving — a sober and restrained joy, of course, because today also marks one of those turning points in the Rule when we begin the "Little Lent" of fasting until we come to the"Great Lent" that leads to Easter.