Orthodox America

  An Invincible Weapon

   Orthodox literature—church services, theological writings, lives of saints--is filled with references to thee Sign of the Cross as a most powerful Weapon against our spiritual adversaries, the demons: "Thou gavest us Thy Cross as a weapon against the devil, O Lord; for he trembles and quakes, unable to bear the sight of its strength..." (Sunday Lauds, Tone 8)

    "Let the demons perish from the presence of those who love God and who sign themselves with the sign of the Cross and say in gladness: 'Rejoice, most precious and life-giving Cross of the Lord, for thou drivest away the demons by the power of our Lord Jesus Christ crucified on thee..." (Evening Prayers) 

    St. Anthony the Great advised his monks: "Fortify yourselves and the house by the sign of the Cross, and betake yourselves to prayer; then you will see [the demons] vanish away, for they are...dreadfully afraid when they see the sign of the Lord's Cross."

    Like any weapon, in order to be effective, the Sign of the Cross must be made properly, not automatically or haphazardly as some do. St. John Chrysostom taught:

    "When you make it remember what has been given for your ransom .... Make it not only with the fingers, but with your faith. If you engrave it in your fore head no impure spirit will dare stand before you. He sees the blade with which he has been wounded, the sword with which he has received the deathblow."

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