Looking at the life of our Lord Jesus Christ from a totally human perspective, we might see the Holy Cross just as an instrument of His martyrdom. But in the spiritual sense, it is the weapon of a magnificent spiritual victory. Through the Cross, the devil was defeated and brought to shame; the world that lies in evil was vanquished. From the Cross, the Lord shone forth His Divine light, and shed His infinite love on all of humankind.
The Cross has a great meaning in the lives of the faithful; the sign of the cross that we make, and the baptismal cross that we wear with faith are our powerful shields that protect us from our enemy.
Prayer also means a lot, but numerous examples from the lives of Christian ascetics tell us that the sign of the cross can work miracles. One example is Saint Mary of Egypt, whose feast day is celebrated during the Great Lent. She made the sign of the cross over the River Jordan and walked safely on its water to the other bank.
As we sing in the sticheron ''O Cross of Christ'', through the Cross we are delivered day by day from death and all its ugly snares. In the face of a raging forest fire that is out of control, we will flee immediately at the first sight of the flame coming our way. The sign of the cross that we make has the same effect on our visible and invisible enemies, and especially on the invisible ones. When we cross ourselves in full faith, we feel as if our souls have been inflamed by His Divine fire.
What do we mean when we say “in full faith”? We mean that we should cross ourselves with piety, meaning, awe and strong belief in our Lord, much like we would say a silent prayer. Sometimes, we do not need to say any words; we cross ourselves silently in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit to plead for the intercession of the Holy Trinity.
Wearing our baptismal cross also has the same power and significance to a person. The material of the cross is not important; it can be wood, aluminum, silver, gold or any other. What really matters is for the cross to have been consecrated by reading of the appropriate prayers. In the order of the consecration, each cross is put on the Holy Table. This alone gives the cross some spiritual power, which is further amplified by the reading of strong prayers, and the sprinkling of the holy water. Wearing the cross which has been consecrated strengthens our connection with God and adds strength to our supplications.
Just as we cross ourselves, it is also a good idea to cross our children. In this way, we give them our parental blessing as they are about to go on a long and difficult journey or to take on a formidable task or project. Through our blessing of our children as parents, we let them have the blessing of our Lord. We know very well that when we care and protect our children spiritually in this way, our prayer has the same strength as the prayer of the Church.
Let us always give generously our spiritual support to our loved ones through our prayers and our blessings, and by making the sign of the cross.