fter beholding these horrors, Lazar was for some time unable to regain his spiritual peace. His whole body was trembling. The Sultan's bodyguards around him interpreted this as a natural fever before death of a grievously wounded man. Lazar, however, was again entirely in the spirit, and was paying no attention to the bodily senses. The battle raged around him as before, but he neither heard any voice nor saw any object of this world. Before him stood the angel of God and the prophet. He saw only them. Then the angel of God made the sign of the cross over the exhausted Prince with three fingers, and with this his peace of soul and strength of body were restored. Thereupon he said to him: "Is everything still not clear to you? Would you, O wondrous founder of Gornjak Monastery, like to ask anything further?"
     Still standing beneath the terrifying burden of the slightly more pressing vision, Lazar responded with a subdued voice:
     "Even though your every word, O incorporeal herald, drops into my heart like a new flame of truth that illuminates and gives warmth, nevertheless all the clouds of my ignorance have not been enlightened and dispersed. There is still a dark cloud overhanging my view.
     "I set out with my knights to battle for the honorable cross and golden freedom. The Asiatic Sultan came with his hordes to our hearth for the purpose of pillaging and destruction. I do not understand, O great servant of God, why the will of the Most High is inclined to grant victory to those, who ridicule the cross and deprive a baptized nation of its freedom?"
     To this the messenger of God replied: "When the baptized mock the cross through their transgressions, then the All-Seeing permits the unbaptized to mock it even more, so that the baptized may be mindful of it and be ashamed. For great ridicule on the part of the unbaptized is more tolerable for Him than small ridicule on the part of the baptized. You know that the honorable cross is the cross of the Son of God, and that it signifies suffering for that for which He suffered. Before Him, the cross was dishonorable, and only dishonorable men carried it. But from the time when this dishonorable symbol was given honor by the One, from whom is desired every honor in heaven or on earth, by touching it with His body and washing it with His blood — from that time this symbol has become the greatest symbol of honor in both worlds.
     "For the greatest symbol of honor you have been fighting today, O banner-bearer of Christ. In fact you have spent your entire life fighting for the honorable cross against false brethren, while today you have been fighting against open — and so much more honest — enemies of the cross. Your false brethren would be ashamed and your enemies would be terrified, if they knew the significance of the honorable cross, against which they have risen up. For now, however, their eyes have been blinded, and they are unable to see this. Only through bearing the cross voluntarily does one come to know the importance of the cross. Whoever bears the cross, also knows that the cross is the way, the truth, and life. And so, because the way is love, and the truth is love, and the life is love, the cross also symbolizes love — the supreme symbol of love! To bear the cross means to bear witness to one's love for God through suffering. The cross is the witness of holy love. Whoever does not show this evidence, has no holy love within him. No sort of words and no sort of gifts can bear witness to love as well as the cross can. Therefore the Son of God gave himself to be crucified on the cross, in order to give eternal evidence of His eternal love.
     "As you fought today for the honorable cross, you were fighting for the only true way of life, for the only living truth, and for the only true life — yes, and for the only eternally living and holy love. And whoever struggles for this, if he dies, he shall live; if he perishes, he shall conquer. Your Golgotha, O Prince, is inevitably bound to the resurrection. The very struggle for the cross already signifies victory, without even considering the impending outcome of the struggle. For from the cross of Golgotha this entire planet has been girded with the cross from east to west and from north to south, and thereby the sign of the cross has been made over the whole inhabited world. Whoever suffers and battles under this holy symbol, possesses the sure guarantee of victory.
     "Behold, your banners of the cross are still fluttering over this field of battle. In a short time they will be toppled and trampled. For your sinful feudal lords toppled and trampled this holy symbol a long time ago. Nevertheless, the crosses trampled on Kosovo will be easily raised up in the heart of the people and will dwell in the heart of the people. In time, every descendant of yours, every Orthodox son and every Orthodox daughter in your Christian people, will represent on this earth a living banner of the cross. After the honorable cross has, not just symbolically, but actually made its dwelling place in the hearts of men, it will be easy to make that banner out of silk cloth and branches from a box tree. For it is always easier for men to attain a symbol than to attain reality, and it is easier to attain the expression than to attain the spirit and truth. After your people will have lived in bondage under their unbaptized masters as many centuries as ancient Israel lived in bondage under the pharaohs of Egypt, the cross will fill the soul of your people so fully and will plant itself within their soul so firmly, that as soon as the linen banner of the cross is raised anew, their yoke of external slavery will be quickly thrown off, their external freedom will be easily obtained, and their kingdom will be reestablished.
     "O wondrous martyr of Christ, what a truly wondrous testament you have bequeathed to your people by choosing the kingdom of eternal reality! And how you have placed before its eyes the symbol of victory, in the form of the honorable cross! Instead of the pillar of fire, which led the Israelites out of the bondage of Egypt, the cross, raised from the field of Kosovo to heaven, will lead your people through the wilderness of servitude. The cross will illuminate them, guide them, and lead them out into the promised land of freedom — not just earthly, symbolic, and temporal freedom, but freedom that is true, immortal, and angelic.