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Saint Paul the Apostle Orthodox Monastery  is a monastic community of monks located in the bluffs of rural Southwestern Wisconsin. In the spirit of Saint Paul the Apostle, who brought the Gospel to the nations, we are committed to further sharing Athonite monastic tradition with Christians using the English language. Read our newest update

- Icon Corner -

By purchasing from our monastery’s icon catalog, you are directly supporting Orthodox monasticism in America, an essential element of our church, especially in a market overwhelmed by for-profit ventures. This business exists only to aid our life of prayer and repentance. Every sale helps us grow.


A LENTEN REFLECTION
from
SAINT PAUL THE APOSTLE ORTHODOX MONASTERY

ON THE PRECIOUS AND LIFE GIVING CROSS OF OUR LORD

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, Who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a slave, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

(Philippians 2:5-11)

This most significant passage from Saint Paul holds the key to our life in Christ, and should frame our entire manner of life, especially during Great Lent. The self-emptying (κένωσις) that Christ undertook for our salvation gives us the ineffable opportunity to forever bond our life to His—by following His example to give our whole being to Him in “extreme humility.”

 

Many years ago, since I managed the garden at our monastery, I was looking through seed catalogs to pick out melons. I came across this florid recommendation: “I was at a party where they served this melon, and it was SO delicious: we all gobbled it with total passionate abandon.”

I thought: “For a melon? Total passionate abandon? You’re kidding!” Then I realized: if you want to see “total passionate abandon,” just take a look at your Savior on the Cross. He totally abandoned His immeasurable glory and honor, allowed Himself to be stripped naked, beaten, spat upon, nailed to planks and lifted up to be mocked by those whom He created... and loved. So that you and I—every human being—could have the indescribable bliss of living with Him forever.

 

So when you see the Cross, consider this: What is the only appropriate response to total, unreserved, passionate love?

Praying for your growth in Christ during this holy season,

+Father Menas, Superior of Saint Paul the Apostle Orthodox Monastery

Lent, 2024

Learn about our monastic life: saintpaulsmonastery.org

Explore our collection of icons: saintpaulsicons.com

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There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither male nor female, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all. 

+ Galatians 3:28, Colossians 3:11

Epistles of Saint Paul the Apostle

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