I suppose some may wonder what I mean by using a silly slogan on my main web site basilsprig.org. Well, I'm blogging today to tell you about the legend.
This coming weekend, Sunday, is the saints day for Constantine and Helen. What is particularly important about St. Helen is that she, in addition to being the mother of Constantine, found the True Cross of Christ.
The legend is that there was basil, the "king's herb", growing from where the cross lay buried in the earth. To this day, on the feast day of the Exaltation of the Cross in most Greek Churches they decorate the cross with sprigs of basil in remembrance of this tradition.
Well, so I've taken that great tradition and morphed it into a "silly slogan" for my web site. But, there's more too it than that. Years ago I always felt I had a childlike wonder at the world, in a word, I considered myself "green." Then one day I was attending a Christian Writer's conference, and I met a poet, Lucy Shaw, and when I purchased her book, she autographed it (for now particular reason): "To Kevin, who is Green..." I also believe the title of her book had "green" in it.
Well, bringing you to the present. When I became Orthodox I took the name "Basil" - not after the herb, but after St. Basil the Blessed, Fool for Christ of Moscow. Now that these years of being Orthodox have gone by, I've begun to see myself as "green" again. I am just a kid at heart, struggling, longing, striving to love God, and follow Him. I'm green, through and through.
Sometimes as Orthodox we begin to think too highly of ourselves, to distance ourselves from our protestant pasts. The older I grow, the more I understand how connected I am with my own past. And what's more important, the Orthodox consistently re-iterate the truth of the Gospel: "Unless you become as little Children you shall in no wise enter the Kingdom of Heaven."
So, this little slogan of mine is a reminder of the historic moment of our faith, when St. Helen found the precious cross, and it is a reminder of my own youthfulness. Of how, no matter how far I'd like to think I am getting down that road, I'm still only a child. And it is a reminder of how, I must daily, take up the Cross of Christ and deny myself and follow Him.
I'm not very good at it, but I like to think I'm trying.
Thursday, May 18, 2006
Growing Green From the Cross...