Commonwealth of the Cross
The whole of the Church’s life depends on the Cross of Christ and it is a commonwealth based on the Cross.
The Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos notes that ‘The Cross is not just the instrument by which Christ died and by which He triumphed over the powers of darkness. It is also the uncreated energy of God which saved, and continues to save, people before and after the Law, and before and after the Incarnation of Christ.’ All the Church’s sacraments are performed through the action of the Cross and the true Christian lives the Cross and Resurrection of Christ every day.
Most people nowadays have no experience of the commonwealth of the Cross. Everywhere the intellect, self-will and self-justification prevail. The way we live, and often even our theology and liturgical life, do not express the mystery of the Cross. We have made Christianity into a religion and also secularised it. It is necessary for us to make a great effort to be freed from the inner tyranny of the passions in order to serve God with all our powers.
The Orthodox ethos is always based on the Cross, and the Orthodox are always crucified. By throwing off selfishness for love’s sake, and having communion and union with the Crucified and Risen Christ, we become true members of the Orthodox Church, which is inspired by the Cross of Christ.