We don't get a choice. Once we have sincerely chosen Christ, then we have necessarily chosen the Cross. Just as Our Blessed Lord's body is nailed to the cross, so is the cross irretrievably fastened to the Christian life.
Today we exalt the Holy Cross, not as an object of worship, but seeing in it our salvation. First, we gaze at the bloodstained wood, the splinters and jagged edges, and we see the pain and suffering in this world. We see that it is unavoidable and that the cross is a reality that we have to bear. If we flee from it, then we flee from reality; we flee from a true and authentic existence that embraces what it means to be. The pain of human beings is a testament to the presence of Evil. Yet the cross is precisely shaped for the human body. It exists for Humanity.
Yet, in gazing at the cross, we realise that we gaze upon the very instrument of the death of Evil. For, on this wood, the blood of Christ is poured, filling the world and flooding out the network of holes where Evil lurks. We gaze upon the wood which itself was alive, is now dead, and yet brings new life because of the Glory that hangs upon it.
Then we gaze through the Cross, and we see beyond a vast ocean of Grace and Love which floods out through the cross like a great gate carved between this small world and the fulness of the world beyond. Every time we make the sign of the cross, this grace pours out blessing us and all around us, giving people the opportunity to receive blessing, grace, love and peace. As the Cross opens the Way to us, so we must open ourselves to the Way and strive to receive Him more and more.
We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee: because by Thy holy cross Thou hast redeemed the world.