September 23, 2012
The Cross as the Gift of God
The world is God’s gift; moreover the purpose of this gift is to unite man with God who granted the gift. The purpose of the gift is self-transcend itself constantly. When we receive a gift from someone, we should primarily look at the person who has given the gift and not avert our eyes to the gift. Nevertheless, quite often, the person who receives a gift bonds so closely with it, thus forgets the giver of the gift. However, God exacts unconditional love from us, because it is infinitely greater than any other gift that He has granted us. Just as on a human level, the person who gives a gift is incomparably more important than the gift itself. Therefore we should love them for who they are and not because of their gift. In this way, each gift exacts its own cross, and the cross is present to show us that all these gifts are not the ultimate and final reality. This cross exists in another form, within the gift, and, sometimes, in the complete loss of it.
Fr. Demetrios Staniloae
The Victory of the Cross p. 11-12 (translated from Greek)