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KEEP, we beseech thee, O Lord, thy Church with thy perpetual mercy; and, because the frailty of man without thee cannot but fall, keep us ever by thy help from all things hurtful, and lead us to all things profitable to our salvation; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Source: Bishop Gelasius [494]. Jesus promised us the help of the Holy Spirit to comfort and guide us [Jn 14:26]. In 1 Corinthians 13 Paul tells us it is charity that is profitable. [Barbee & Zahl]

Psalms 96, 97 | 79, 80; Galatians vi. 11 & St. Matthew vi. 24

Homily of Eucebius on the Church at Jerusalem

On Monday of this week many celebrated Holy Cross Day, remembering the events of 14 September 326, the traditional date of the consecration of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem and the veneration of the Holy Cross.

I thought it would be interesting to reflect on that event in view of today's Epistle to the Galatians. Paul wrote,

God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ

Consider if you will the history of Constantine, and how he virtually turned Rome upside down in respect to honor and glory to the Cross and Christ at the expense of the old, cold idols. Let us now look at the account given of this event in the history of the Early Church by Bishop Eusebius and specifically an extract of his quotation of Constantine's letter to Macarius (Bishop of Jerusalem) concerning the Church

"Victor Constantius, Maximus Augustus, to Macarius. "Such is our Saviour's grace, that no power of language seems adequate to describe the wondrous circumstance to which I am about to refer. For, that the monument of his most holy Passion, so long ago buried beneath the ground, should have remained unknown for so long a series of years, until its reappearance to his servants now set free through the removal of him who was the common enemy of all, is a fact which truly surpasses all admiration. For if all who are accounted wise throughout the world were to unite in their endeavors to say somewhat worthy of this event, they would be unable to attain their object in the smallest degree. Indeed, the nature of this miracle as far transcends the capacity of human reason as heavenly things are superior to human affairs. For this cause it is ever my first, and indeed my only object, that, as the authority of the truth is evincing itself daily by fresh wonders, so our souls may all become more zealous, with all sobriety and earnest unanimity, for the honor of the Divine law. I desire, therefore, especially, that you should be persuaded of that which I suppose is evident to all beside, namely, that I have no greater care than how I may best adorn with a splendid structure that sacred spot, which, under Divine direction, I have disencumbered as it were of the heavy weight of foul idol worship; a spot which has been accounted holy from the beginning in God's judgment, but which now appears holier still, since it has brought to light a clear assurance of our Saviour's passion.

You may read the entire history of this Church at the link above.

I must wonder if this section of Galatians was set here due to the proximity of this Sunday, year by year, to Holy Cross Day.

Recent archeological surveys about the current church have verified the design and splendor of the church as described by Constantine and Eusebius.

Like Paul, Constantine had a specific epiphany with the Risen Christ that changed his life. Like Paul, he began to employ the Fruits of the Spirit in those things he did, and did well. Specifically, as the Emperor he righted wrongs against the Church and began to demonstrate that he gloried in the Cross. His building of the Church in Jerusalem, consecrated on Holy Cross Day, was also a token of the glory shown throughout the Empire by Constantine to Christ, no less so than as demonstrated in his Legions where his soldiers bore the his sign on their shields (chi rho). We are not all called to be the greatest evangelists or the organizer of the Holy Catholic Church, but we, who are his own, all have be given the Holy Spirit, and may all be comforted (strengthened) to use the gifts in our daily lives and vocation for the glory of God.

I bid your prayer for us all.

ALMIGHTY God, our heavenly Father, who declarest thy glory and showest forth thy handiwork in the heavens and in the earth; Deliver us, we beseech thee, in our several callings, from the service of mammon, that we may do the work which thou givest us to do, in truth, in beauty, and in righteousness, with singleness of heart as thy servants, and to the benefit of our fellow men; for the sake of him who came among us as one that serveth, thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Learn more about the Church here at Wikipedia

ps One will note that there is nothing said about the Holy Cross throughout the history or in Constantine's letter. However, next year we will look at the history of Sozomenus of 380 that does address Helena and the Cross.


-- Released by Primus Pilus Legio Christi-Ecclesia Militans "Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another" [St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans 14:19] * ORDO CENTURIONUM * IN HOC SIGNO VINCES * TIME DEUM ET OPERARE IUSTITIAM

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