Tuesday, December 22, 2015

60. THE SACRED SIGN OF JESUS - THE 'SIGN OF THE CROSS'

The Discovery of the Holy Cross
by Fr. Francis Xavier Weninger, 1877



The true Church celebrates today the discovery of that Cross which our Saviour and Redeemer has made holy, through the painful and ignominious death He suffered upon it for the salvation of all men. It happened as follows: Helena, the saintly mother of Constantine the Great, endeavored, as she was a Christian, to bring her son to the knowledge of Christ and to receive the Christian faith. But although Constantine listened to her exhortations, he deferred his conversion from time to time. Meanwhile, he had to take up arms against the tyrant Maxentius, who had proclaimed himself Emperor of Rome. When he was marching from France to Italy against him, and perceived that his army was much smaller than that of Maxentius, he turned to the God of the Christians, of whom his pious mother had so often spoken to him, and humbly implored His aid. Soon after, he and his whole army beheld in broad daylight a brightly shining cross in the heavens, on which was inscribed: "In this sign thou shalt conquer." On the night following, Christ appeared to him with the same sign, and commanded him to have a similar one made, and to use it as a military ensign during the battle. Constantine not only joyfully obeyed the command, but had also a smaller cross made and placed on his helmet. Thus armed, he marched against his enemy into Italy, and having overcome three generals of Maxentius, who were sent to meet him, he finally conquered the tyrant himself, and arrived triumphantly at Rome. As he had only to thank the God of the Christians, and the power of the holy cross for this brilliant victory, he had the Roman Eagles torn from the banners of the army and replaced them by crosses. He at the same time issued an order that no malefactor should in future be nailed to the cross. He also gave to all his subjects the liberty to embrace the Christian faith, tore down the temples of the idols, erected many spacious churches for the Christians, and at last received holy baptism. His heart now became inflamed with the desire to see and honor the true holy Cross of the Lord.


Helena, the holy empress, who had the same ardent wish, was admonished by God in a dream, to go to Jerusalem and there search for the Cross of Christ. She undertook the journey and endeavored to ascertain what the wicked Jews had done with it. These, instigated by Satan, had buried the Cross of the Saviour, and the crosses of the two malefactors in a deep pit, not far from the Holy Sepulchre of Christ, and had covered them with stones and rubbish. But when they perceived that many Christians went there to pray, they persuaded the heathens to erect on the holy place a shrine of the unchaste Venus, in order that the Christians, in abhorrence of the idol, should no longer visit it. This was accordingly done, and the memory of the Holy Cross which was concealed there slowly faded away. Helena, nevertheless, succeeded in inducing some Jews to show her the places where they had heard from their forefathers that Christ had been crucified and buried. She forthwith ordered the idol which stood there to be demolished, and after having removed the stones and rubbish, she directed them to dig until they had reached the sepulchre of Christ. Not far from it they found three crosses of the same form and size, with the inscription which Pilate had written and placed above the Saviour's Cross, but they were unable to recognize upon which of the crosses the Redeemer had died. St. Macarius, at that time Bishop of Jerusalem, inspired by God, advised that a sick person should be brought in contact with the three crosses, as he did not doubt that God would make known by a miracle which of them had borne the Saviour. His counsel was followed, and a dangerously sick woman was brought. The touch of the first two crosses had no effect, but no sooner had the invalid come in contact with the third, then she instantly arose in perfect health, in presence of the Empress, the bishop and numberless other persons. 


Further, they brought two dead bodies, into which life returned as soon as the Holy Cross was placed upon them. As there could now remain no doubt that the true Cross had been found, no words can describe the joy they all felt, but particularly the Empress, or what honors they bestowed upon the precious treasure. Helena had a magnificent church erected on the place where it was found, and placed half of the Cross there in a costly case; the other half she sent to her son Constantine who likewise deposited it in a beautiful church, built by him at Rome. 

From this time dates the adoration of the Holy Cross through the whole Christian world. Particles of it were sent to different countries. St. Cyril, who was, twenty years later than Macarius, bishop of Jerusalem, testifies most emphatically that particles of the Holy Cross had been sent for from all parts of the world, and although they had cut many from it, the sacred wood had not diminished, but by a visible miracle had retained its original size, which he declares he witnessed himself. The same is written by St. Paulinus. Hence the heretics and other scoffers of the holy relics have no reason to say that the particles of the Holy Cross which are honored at so many places must be false, or to accuse the Catholic Church of deception in distributing these particles.


Practical Considerations

The holy Empress Helena searches with great care and solicitude for the holy Cross of Christ, and rested not until, to her inexpressible comfort, she had found it. Many Saints have sought crosses and sorrows and have earnestly requested God to send them such. I dare not ask so much of you. Do you think, however, that it is too much if I ask you: to carry patiently, the Cross which God lays upon you for your salvation? Himself demands this of you: "He that taketh not up his cross and followeth me is not worthy of me," says He (Matthew 10:38). And again, He says; "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me " (Luke 9:23).


The Cross given by Christ must be borne if we wish to follow Him into heaven. In bearing this Cross we must also imitate him so as to carry it with patience. For what does it benefit, when we carry it impatiently, and only when we must? "He that is impatient suffereth damage" (Proverbs 19:19), we are assured in holy writ. Because, besides that he, by his impatience, loses the benefit which he would have derived, he makes himself also guilty of punishment. Hence, what must be done? Follow the advice of the pious Thomas a Kempis: "Take up your Cross and follow Christ, and you will enter into everlasting life. He went before you and carried his Cross patiently, He died for you upon the Cross, that you also may carry your Cross and desire to die upon it." If Christ himself gave you a particle of the Cross on which he had hung and which St. Helena found, you would deem yourself happy: but you are far more happy if you carry the Cross God sends you as though you received the entire Cross of Christ. It is neither sufficient nor necessary for your salvation to possess the Cross of Christ, or a particle of it: but it is necessary that you carry your Cross, and that you imitate the Lord's patience.


Jews, heathens and heretics despise the Cross of Christ; true Christians, however, esteem it highly and honor it duly. 

The Catholics do not worship the holy Cross, but they worship Him who has hung upon it, Christ the Lord, as He was not only man, but also the true God to whom worship is due. They honor the sacred wood on account of Him who died upon it for the salvation of men

To make the sign of the Cross is a mark of honor which we show not only to the holy Cross of the Saviour, but also to the Saviour Himself. 

Do not omit this sign of honor, as is done in our days by the enemies and despisers of the Cross of Christ, whose end, according to the Apostle, is destruction (Philippians 3). 

Sign yourself, morning and evening, before and after prayer, and also on other occasions, with the holy Cross, but devoutly, and in memory of the crucified God. "Be not ashamed," exhorts St. Cyril of Jerusalem; "be not ashamed of the Cross of Christ." 

If somebody hides it, sign your forehead openly with it, that Satan, at the sight of it, may flee with fear and trembling. Make use of this sign when you eat and drink, when you stand and sit, when you walk and speak, in one word, make use of it in all your actions.




On the Sign of the Cross
The Ursaline Manual, 1857


There is nothing which can more effectually assist you to recollect the presence of God, and remind you of the duty of consecrating all that you say or do to his honor and glory, than the frequent and devout use of the Sign of the Cross. This sacred sign has always been used by the Church to signify, that all graces and spiritual assistance are derived from the cross and passion of Jesus Christ. When accompanied with corresponding sentiments, it is an excellent form of prayer, a fervent act of faith, of hope, and of charity, beside being a public and solemn Profession of our belief in those mysteries of our religion, which we must all believe and profess in order to be saved ; namely, the Unity and Trinity of God, the Incarnation, Death, and Resurrection of our Savior.


The sign of the Cross should always be dear to you as the sign of a Christian, the badge of a Christian, and the glory of a Christian--as the distinctive mark of Christ's true followers,--as a memorial of the sufferings of Christ on the Cross, and of your own deliverance from eternal death by and through those sufferings. To merit, by an application of this saving sign, the fruits of that Cross and Passion which it represents, you should accustom yourself to make it devoutly, frequently, and openly. You should make it devoutly, that is, with gratitude for the blessings which you enjoy through that Passion, and with sincere sorrow for your sins. Remember that a precipitate, disrespectful, as it were half method of signing yourself with the Sign of the Cross, is in reality to dishonor it, and to liken yourself. to those who professedly deride and contemn it.

Next, you should make the Sign of the Cross frequently. This is inculcated by the example of the primitive Christians, who by this sacred sign consecrated themselves to God, and implored His blessing in every action. It is also strongly recommended by all the great saints and fathers of the Church; among the rest, by the devout St. Ephrem, who says, speaking on this subject: "Cover thyself with the sign of the Cross, as with a shield, signing with it thy limbs and thy heart. Arm thyself with this sign at thy studies, and at all times, for it is the conqueror of death--the opener of the gates of paradise--the great guard of the Church.

"Fail not to carry this armor about with thee in every place, every day and night, every hour and moment. Whether thou art at work, or eatest, or drinkest, or travellest, or whatsoever else thou dost, sign and arm thyself with the saving Sign of the Cross. Sign with it thy bed; and whatever thou usest, sign it at first with the Sign of the Cross, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. This is an invincible armor, and no one can hurt thee, if thou art armed with it." Endeavor to reduce this strong admonition so fervently to practice, that your most devout and ordinary actions, the beginning and end-of ally our duties, may be the Sign of the Cross;--but be particularly exact in following the directions of your Catechism on this head, and never fail to make it with faith, devotion, and confidence, in all temptations and dangers, and before and after prayer.

Lastly, you should make the Sign of the Cross openly, because it is by this sign that you show yourself a Christian, and prove that you do not blush at the Cross and humiliations of your God and crucified Savior. "While others," says a pious author, "boast of ribbons and stars, which are worn and gazed on because they are badges of worldly honor, conferred by the great ones of the earth ; you should think it the greatest happiness, the greatest honor, to bear that holy ensign of the King of kings, which is expressive of his greatest mysteries." Therefore, far from refraining from this sacred sign, which would point you out as a Christian to utter strangers in the furthest quarter of the globe you should always make it openly and without hesitation.

Remember however, that you are to be guided in this most particularly by prudence, which should direct and accompany every action to make it virtuous. You cannot make the Sign of the Cross too frequently, or too openly at present, nor perhaps in future, if you be in the bosom of a Catholic and pious family; because you will be sure of that sacred sign being duly reverenced ; but there are occasions in which it would be more prudent to refrain from making the sign of the Cross outwardly, as often as you are now accustomed to make it. For example, to make the Sign of the Cross when the clock strikes, as you are now in the habit of doing, may perhaps expose that sacred sign, as likewise the cause of piety in general, to laughter and division. Therefore, on that account, through respect for the Sign of the Cross, and not from any apprehension of drawing ridicule on yourself, you would do better to confine yourself to that elevation of heart to God, and simple thought of the passion which should always accompany the outward Sign of the Cross, to make it meritorious and salutary.


Be careful, however, not to confound those occasions with others in which your not making the Sign of the Cross may be taken, if not for a denial of your faith, at least for a wish to conceal it. Among those, you may, for example, consider the custom of blessing yourself before and after meals; because in all companies, though composed of different persuasions, Catholics are expected to make the Sign of the Cross. Then, and on all such occasions, you should call to mind, that those who deny Jesus Christ before men, shall be denied by him before His Father, (Matthew 10:33
But he that shall deny me before men, I will also deny him before my Father who is in heaven.
) and do not hesitate to show yourself a Catholic by making the Sign of the Cross openly, devoutly, and with that generous, noble species of pride, which made St. Paul glory in this Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world was crucified to him, and he to the world.







The Finding of the Holy Cross 

It was most just that our Divine King should show Himself to us with the sceptre of His power, to the end that nothing might be wanting to the majesty of His empire. This sceptre is the Cross; and Paschal Time was to be the Season for its being offered to Him in glad homage. A few weeks back, and the Cross was shown to us as the instrument of our Emmanuel's humiliation, and as the bed of suffering whereon He died; but, has He not, since then, conquered Death? and what is His Cross now, but a trophy of His victory? Let it then be brought forth to our gaze; and let every knee bend before this sacred Wood, whereby our Jesus won the honour and praise we now give Him!


On the day of His Birth at Bethlehem, we sang these words of the Prophet Isaias: A Child is born unto us, and a Son is given unto us, and His government is upon His shoulder (Isaiah 9:6 "For a CHILD IS BORN to us, and a son is given to us, and the government is upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called, Wonderful, Counsellor, God the Mighty, the Father of the world to come, the Prince of Peace." The Introit of the Third Mass for Christmas Day). We have seen Him carrying this Cross upon His shoulder, as Isaac carried the wood for his own immolation; but now, it is no longer a heavy burthen. It is shining with a brightness that ravishes the eyes of the Angels; and, after having received the veneration of man, as long as the world lasts, it will suddenly appear in the clouds of heaven, near the judge of the living and the dead, a consolation to them that have loved it, but a reproach to such as have treated it with contempt or forgetfulness.


Our Saviour did not think the time between His Resurrection and Ascension a fitting one for glorifying the Instrument of His victory. The Cross was not to be brought into notice, until it had subjected the world to Him Whose glory it so eloquently proclaimed. Jesus was three days in the tomb; His Cross is to lie buried unknown to men, for three centuries: but it is to have its Resurrection, and the Church celebrates this Resurrection today. Jesus would, in his own good time, add to the joy of Easter by miraculously revealing to us this sacred monument of His love for mankind. He intrusts it to our keeping, it is to be our consolation, as long as this world last: is it not just, that we should love and venerate it?



Never had Satan's pride met with a humiliation like that of his seeing the instrument of our perdition made the instrument of our salvation. As the Church expresses it in her Preface for Passion tide: "he that overcame mankind by a Tree, was overcome by a Tree." Thus foiled, he vented his fury upon this saving Wood, which so bitterly reminded him, both of the irresistible power of his Conqueror, and of the dignity of man who had been redeemed at so great a price. He would fain have annihilated the Cross; but knowing that this was beyond his power, he endeavoured to profane it, and hide it from view. He therefore instigated the Jews to bury it. At the foot of Calvary, not far from the Sepulchre, was a deep hole. Into this was the Cross thrown, together with those of the two Thieves, the Nails, the Crown of Thorns, and the Inscription, or Title, written by Pilate. The hole was then filled up with rubbish and earth, and the Sanhedrim exulted in the thought of its having effaced the memory of the Nazarene, Who could not save Himself from the ignominious death of the Cross.



Forty years after this, Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans, the instruments of God's vengeance. The Holy Places were desecrated by the idolaters. A small temple to Venus was erected on Calvary, and another to Jupiter over the Holy Sepulchre. By this, the pagans intended derision; whereas, they were perpetuating the knowledge of two spots of most sacred interest. When peace was restored under Constantine, the Christians had but to remove these pagan monuments, and their eyes beheld the holy ground that had been bedewed with the Blood of Jesus, and the glorious Sepulchre.


As to the Cross, it was not so easily found. The sceptre of our Divine King was to be raised up from its tomb by a royal hand. The saintly Empress Helen, Constantine's Mother, was chosen by heaven to pay to Jesus, and that, too, on the very spot where he had received His greatest humiliations, the honours which are due to Him as the King of the world. Before laying the foundations of the Basilica of the Resurrection, this worthy follower of Magdalene and the other holy women of the Sepulchre was anxious to discover the Instrument of our Salvation. The Jews had kept up the tradition of the site where it had been buried: the Empress had the excavations made accordingly. With what holy impatience must she not have watched the works! and with what ecstasy of joy did she not behold the Redeeming Wood, which, though not, at first, distinguishable, was certainly one of the three Crosses that were found! She addressed a fervent prayer to the Saviour, who alone could reveal to her which was the trophy of his victory; the Bishop, Macarius, united his prayers with hers; and their faith was rewarded by a miracle, that left them no doubt as to which was the true Cross.

The glorious work was accomplished, and the Church was put in possession of the instrument of the world's Redemption. Both East and West were filled with joy at the news of this precious discovery, which heaven had set on foot, and which gave the last finish to the triumph of Christianity. Christ completed His victory over the Pagan world, by raising thus His Standard, not a figurative one, but His own real Standard, His Cross, which, up to that time, had been a stumbling-block to the Jews, and foolishness to the Gentiles; but before which every Christian is, henceforth, to bend his knee.

Helen placed the Holy Cross in the Basilica that had been built by her orders, and which covered both the glorious Sepulchre and the hill of the Crucifixion. Another church was erected on the site, where the Cross had lain concealed for three hundred years, and the faithful are enabled, by long flights of steps, to go down into the deep grotto, which had been its tomb. Pilgrims came, from every part of the world, to visit the hallowed places, where our Redemption had been wrought, and to venerate the sacred Wood of the Cross. But God's merciful providence willed not that the precious pledge of Jesus' love for mankind should be confined to one only Sanctuary, however venerable it might be. Immediately after its discovery, Helen had a very large piece cut from the Cross; and this fragment she destined for Rome, the new Jerusalem. The precious gift was enshrined in the Basilica built by her son Constantine in the Sessorian garden, and which was afterwards called the Basilica of Holy Cross in Jerusalem.

By degrees, other places were honoured by the presence of the Wood of the Holy Cross. So far back as the 4th Century, we have St. Cyril of Jerusalem attesting that many of the Pilgrims used to obtain small pieces of it, and thus carried the precious Treasure into their respective countries; and St. Paulinus of Nola, who lived in the same century, assures us that these many gifts lessened not the size of the original Relic. In the 6th century, the holy Queen, St. Radegonde, obtained from the Emperor Justin 2nd a large piece from the fragment that was in the imperial treasury of Constantinople. It was for the reception of this piece of the True Cross into France, that Venantius Fortunatus composed the Vexilla Regis, that beautiful Hymn which the Church uses in her Liturgy, as often as she celebrates the praises of the Holy Cross.

After several times losing and regaining it, Jerusalem was, at length, for ever deprived of the precious Relic. Constantinople was a gainer by Jerusalem's loss. From Constantinople, especially during the Crusades, many churches of the West procured large pieces. These again supplied other places; until, at length the Wood of the Cross was to be found in almost every town of any importance. 

There is scarcely to be found a Catholic, who, some time or other in his life, has not had the happiness of seeing and venerating a portion of this sacred object. How many acts of love and gratitude have not been occasioned by this? And who could fail to recognize, in this successive profusion of our Jesus's Cross, a plan of divine providence for exciting us to an appreciation of our Redemption, on which rest all our hopes of eternal happiness?

How dear, then, to us should not this day be, which blends together the recollection of the Holy Cross and the joys of the Resurrection of that Jesus, Who, by the Cross, has won the throne to which we shall soon see Him ascend|! Let us thank our Heavenly Father for his having restored to mankind a treasure so immensely precious as is the Cross. Until the day comes for its appearing, with Himself, in the clouds of heaven, Jesus has intrusted it to His Spouse, as a pledge of His second Coming. On that day, He, by His divine power, will collect together all the fragments; and the Tree of Life will, then, gladden the Elect with its dazzling beauty, and invite them to eternal rest beneath its refreshing shade.

The Liturgy gives us the following history of the great event we are celebrating today.



After the great victory fained over Maxentius by the Imperor Constantine, under the standard of our Lord's Cross, which had been miraculously shown to him, Helen, his mother, was told in a dream to repair to Jerusalem and search for the true Cross. Upon her arrival, she ordered to be taken down a marble statue of Venus, which had been erected by the Pagans, some hundred and eighty years before, in order that all memory of our Lord's Passion might be obliterated. She did the same for the place where there reposed the Saviour's Crib, as also for the site of the Resurrection; removing from the former an idol of Adonis, and from the latter an idol of Jupiter.



The place, where the Cross was supposed to be, having been excavated, three crosses were discovered at a great depth below the surface; and with them, though not attached, the Title that had been fastened to our Lord's Cross. The doubt as to which of the three Crosses the Title belonged was removed by a miracle. After having prayed to God, Macarius, the Bishop of Jerusalem, applied each of the Crosses to a woman, who was afflicted with a dangerous malady. The first two produced no result; the third was then applied, and the woman was restored to perfect heath.



The Holy Cross being thus found, Helen built a magnificent Church in Jerusalem, in which she placed a portion of the Cross, enshrined in a silver case; the remaining part she took to her son Constantine, and it was put in the Church called Holy Cross in Jerusalem, which was built on the site of the Sessorian palace. She also took to her son the Nails, wherewith the most holy Body of Christ Jesus had been fastened to the Cross. Constantine passed a law, that from that time forward, a cross should never be used as an instrument of punishment; and thus, what hitherto had been an object of reproach and derision, became one of veneration and glory.

Both the Eastern and Western Churches abound in Liturgical compositions in honour of the Holy Cross. We offer our readers a selection from these, beginning with the glorious verses of Venantius Fortunatus.

He was pierced with the cruel Spear, that, 

by the Water and the Blood, which flowed 
from the wound, He might cleanse us from sin.


Here, on the Cross was fulfilled the prophecy 

foretold in David's truthful words: 

"God hath reigned from the Tree."



O fair and shining Tree! beautified by the 

scarlet of the King, and chosen as the 
noble trunk that was to touch such sacred limbs.

O blessed Tree! on whose arms hung the 
ransom of the world! It was the balance, 
wherein was placed the Body of Jesus, 
and thereby hell lost its prey.

Hail, O Cross! our only hope, that bringest us 
the Paschal joy. Increase to the good their grace, 
and cleanse sinners from their guilt.

May every spirit praise thee, O Holy Trinity, 
thou Fount of salvation! and by the Cross, 
whereby thou gavest us victory, 
give us, too, our recompense. Amen.

Prayer:


Christ Crucified is the power and wisdom of God (1 Cor. 1:24 "But unto them that are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God."). Thus spoke thine Apostle, O Jesus! and we are witnesses of the truth of his words. The Synagogue thought to dishonour Thee by nailing Thee to a Cross, for it was written in the Law: Cursed is he, that hangeth on a tree (Deut. 21:23 His body shall not remain upon the tree, but shall be buried the same day: for he is accursed of God that hangeth on a tree: and thou shalt not defile thy land, which the Lord thy God shall give thee in possession."). But, lo! this gibbet, this Tree of infamy, is become the trophy of thy grandest glory! Far from dimming the splendour of Thy Resurrection, the Cross enhances the brilliancy of Thy magnificent triumph. Thou wast attached to the Wood, thou tookest on Thyself the curse that was due to us; Thou wast crucified between two thieves; Thou wast reputed as an impostor, and Thine enemies insulted Thee in Thine agony on this bed of suffering. Hadst Thou been but man, O Son of David! all this would have disgraced Thy name and memory; the Cross would have been the ruin of Thy past glory: but Thou art the Son of God, and it is the Cross that proves it. The whole world venerates Thy Cross. It was the Cross that brought the world into submission to Thee. The honours that are now paid it, more than make amends for the insults that were once offered it. Men are not wont to venerate a Cross; but if they do, it is the Cross on which their God died. Oh! blessed be He that hung upon the Tree! And do Thou, dearest Crucified Jesus! in return for the homage we pay to Thy Cross, fulfil the promise Thou madest us: And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all things unto Myself (John 12:32).



That thou mightest the more effectually draw us, Thou this day permittedst us to find the very Wood, whereon Thou stretchedst forth Thy divine arms to embrace us. Thou deignedst to give us this holy instrument of Thy victory, and which is to shine near thee in the heavens on the day of judgment; Thou mercifully confidedst it to our keeping, in order that we might thence derive a salutary fear of Divine Justice, which demanded Thy death on this Wood, so to atone for our sins. Thou also gavest us this most precious relic, that it might excite us to a devoted love for Thee, O Divine Victim! Who, that we might be blessed, didst take upon Thyself the maledictions due to our sins. The whole world is offering Thee, today, its fervent thanks for so inestimable a gift. Thy Cross, by being divided into countless fragments, is in all places, consecrating and protecting, by its presence, every country of the Christian world.



Oh! that we had St. Helen's spirit, dear Jesus, and knew, as she did, the breadth, and length, and height, and, depth of the mystery of thy Cross (Eph. 3:18 You may be able to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth, and length, and height, and depth:). Her love of the mystery made her so earnest in her search for the Cross. And how sublime is the spectacle offered to us by this holy Empress! She adorns Thy glorious Sepulchre; she unburies Thy Cross from its grave; who was there, that ever proclaimed with such solemnity as this, the Paschal Mystery? The Sepulchre cries out to us: "He is risen: He is not here!" The Cross exclaims: "I held him captive but for a few passing hours: He is not here! He is resplendent in the glory of His Resurrection!" O Cross! O Sepulchre! how brief was the period of His humiliation, and how grand the kingdom He won by you! We will adore, in you where his feet stood (Psalms. 131:7 We will go into his tabernacle: We will adore in the place where his feet stood. ), making you the instruments of our Redemption, and thereby endearing you ever to our respectful love. Glory, then, be to thee, O Cross! dear object of this day's festival! Continue to protect this world, where our Jesus has left thee. Be its shield against Satan. Keep up within us the twofold remembrance, which will support us in all our crosses, the remembrance of Sacrifice united with Triumph; for it is by thee, O Cross! that Christ conquers, and reigns, and commands. Christus Vincit, Christus Regnat, Christus Imperat.
                             _________________________________ 
Hymn: The Cross of Christ

Gal. vi. 14:--

"God forbid that I should glory, 
save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ." 

"When we rise, the cross; 
when we lie down, the cross; 
in our studies, the cross; 
everywhere and at every time, 
the cross--shining more glorious than the sun."

--St. Chrysostom.

                                    O Child of God, remember,

When thou to Christ wast born,

How then across thine infant breast

His sacred sign was drawn.



And when confirming Chrism

Upon thy brow was laid,

How in that sign the Holy Ghost
His grace upon thee shed.

Therefore, when sleep invites thee
To take thy needful rest,
Be sure that with the sacred cross
Thou sign thy brow and breast.

The cross hath wondrous virtue
All evil to control;
To scatter darkness, and to calm
The tempest of the soul.

What though in sleep this body
May helpless seem to lie?
I nothing fear, assured that
One Stronger than all is nigh.

On Him my heart shall ponder,
E'en while my rest I take;
My shield and shelter while I sleep.
My joy when I awake.

Music: Crux Fidelis, O Crux Ave and O Sacred Head Surrounded http://catholicharboroffaithandmorals.com/