Saturday, May 31, 2014
About the sign of the cross
Before Christ, the cross was an instrument of the cruelest punishment, and a symbol of horror. After His sufferings, it became the sign of the victory of good over evil and of life over death; it became the reminder of the limitless love of God and a source of happiness.
The incarnate Son of God sanctified the cross with His blood and made it the carrier of His blessings and holiness. Because of these properties, the sign of the cross became an essential component of Christian life since apostolic times, used in all Church services and private prayers. For instance, water is blessed and becomes holy with the sign of the cross, and bread and wine are transformed into the Body and Blood of Christ; in summary, all Sacraments acquire their spiritual power through the sign of the cross.
As flies cannot tolerate flame, so demons cannot stand the presence of the cross. The sign of the cross protects a Christian from accidents and misfortunes and attracts God's help to him. That is why Orthodox Christians revere the cross so much, bless themselves with the sign of the cross, wear a cross on their chest and adorn their homes and churches with crosses.