Photo from the Feast Day of the Exaltation of the Cross
A week after celebrating the great Feast Day of the Exaltation of the Cross, I was reminded how amazingly preserved flowers that surround the Cross can be. They are protected from the usual quick wilt and deterioration other bouquets (placed in ordinary locations) can experience within two or three days.
The same holds true with flowers that grace icon corners or icon stands. I remember visiting a convent in the heat of summer, and one of my obediences was to clean and prepare the church for the Sts. Peter and Paul Liturgy. I had picked some wildflowers to put where the festal icon was to be placed, but it appeared someone had already done so. I took my new bunch of flowers back to the main house and was told the hot little church had been locked since Pentecost, as the air conditioned house chapel was being used instead. The last time flowers had been placed in the actual church was nearly 3.5 weeks previously! One “forgotten’ wildflower bouquet had remained at the foot of the analogian where the icon of the Holy Trinity sat. This is the same bouquet I saw when I unlocked the church to clean. It looked as fresh as could be! When I revealed this mini miracle, the nuns nodded their heads, crossed themselves, and stated matter-of-factly, “Oh yes, these kind of things can happen.”
Every flower is indeed fragrant through the power of the Holy Spirit, and the beauty of the Great is contained in the small!
…let all the trees of the forest sing for joy. ~ Psalm 96:12
You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. ~ Isaiah 55:12
God does not create a cross for man. No matter how heavy a cross a man may carry in life, it is still just wood, from which man himself made, and it always grows from the soil of his heart. ~ St. Ambrose of Optina