On Taking up the Cross

St. Philaret of Moscow 1821-1867

What does it mean to take up one’s cross? Not to flee the visitation of sorrow, not to stand stubbornly against it, but to be ready to accept when it has not yet befallen one; to obediently and unmurmuringly accept it when it actually comes upon one; to allow oneself to be meekly led like a lamb to the slaughter, after the example of the Lamb and Shepherd Christ; if necessary, to suffer for righteousness; to carry, without objection, the firewood for one’s own immolation, like Isaac, if such is the will of the Heavenly Father, for our purification and in order to lead us to the promised regeneration. (Homily on the Sunday of the Veneration of the Cross)