Let us hope that we can develop a deep devotion to the Holy Cross of Christ, perhaps by carrying a crucifix with us all the time, saying some pious ejaculatory prayers every time we see a cross and even kissing it, celebrating well the feasts dedicated to it in our liturgical calendar, etc.
Such devotion should always bring to mind what Christ himself said, that if we want to follow him, we should deny ourselves and carry the cross. (cfr. Mt 16,24) It’s in the cross that we can truly find Christ, and Christ in his supreme act of redemptive love for us.
Certainly, the cross is an unavoidable and even an integral part of our earthly life. But we should regard it the way Christ regarded it. We should be attracted to it the way Christ was attracted to it.
Thus, we need to overcome the awkwardness, if not, the resistance we may have against this devotion. We have to realize that our faith in Christ should filter down to the level of our heart, our senses, our feelings and emotions. It should not just get stuck in the intellectual and volitional level.
Making Christ’s cross a constant companion of ours will definitely help us to feel that we are never alone in our daily affairs. Christ is always with us, guiding us, enlightening us and empowering us to accomplish what is even beyond our human powers to accomplish. With the cross, we can manage to feel secure and confident despite whatever.
Especially in our moments of difficulty, trials and temptations, having the cross as a companion can truly help us to be strong and hopeful, preventing us from falling into our weaknesses. With it, we can manage how to suffer and to find meaning in suffering. We can manage to be at peace, and even cheerful, amid the pain.
And that’s because this devotion to the cross assures us that Christ is suffering also with us, a suffering that has redemptive effects for all of us. We get to realize that suffering is not purely a negative thing. Christ has turned it into a means of our purification, our strengthening, and ultimately, our salvation.
When we have those moments of vulnerability, as when we are tired and lonely, disappointed, frustrated and sad over something, or severely tempted, looking, clutching and even kissing a crucifix can truly help us to remain steadfast in our faith and trust in God’s merciful providence. We can feel his tremendous love for us.
It would be good if we can spread this devotion to Christ’s cross more widely. If properly understood and lived, there is no doubt that it can help all of us to live a good and happy life and to know how to deal with all the unavoidable negative elements in our earthly sojourn.
Let’s try to market this devotion especially now when we are celebrating the 500 years of Christianity in our country. This devotion will definitely be a sign of a certain maturity in our Christian life. And given the growing and more complicated challenges of our times, this Christian maturity is what we all need.
With the cross, we can attain what St. Paul described as “mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.” (Eph 4,13-14)*