O Cross, ineffable love of God and glory of heaven!O Cross, eternal salvation!
O Cross, terror of the reprobate!
O Cross, support of the just, light of Christians!
For you, God became a slave in the flesh, here on earth; by your means, man in God is crowned king in heaven; from you streams the true light, victorious over accursed night.
You gave believers power to make the pantheon of the nations quake; you are the soul of peace that unites men in Christ the mediator; you are the ladder for man to climb to heaven.
Be always for us, your faithful, both pillar and anchor; watch over our homes, set the course of our ship.
In the Cross may our faith remain strong, and there be our crown prepared.
~ St. Paulinus of Nola (352-431), Carmina 19.718-730
Abba Theodoulos said to me: "One day I went up from the monastery to the Holy City (Jerusalem) to venerate the Holy Cross. After I had performed my devotions, as I was coming out of the ante-chamber of the church of the Holy Cross, I saw a brother standing at the door, neither going in nor coming out. I also saw two ugly crows flying in his face and brushing their wings against his eyes, effectively preventing him from entering the shrine. Knowing them to be demons, I said to him, "Tell me, brother, why do you hesitate in the doorway itself and not go in?"
He said, "Forgive me, abba. I have conflicting emotions, sir. One urges me to enter and to venerate the honorable Cross, but the other says, "No, make an excuse and make your devotions some other time."
When I heard this, I took him by the hand and led him into the shrine; the crows immediately fled from him. I got him to venerate the Holy Cross and the Holy Sepulchre of Christ our God, then I dismissed him in peace." Abba Theodoulos said these things to me because he could see that I was much distracted by my duties and he perceived that I was neglecting my prayers.
Source: John Moschus, Leimonarion (The Spiritual Meadow) 105