Dear legionaries, let us embrace the Cross of our Lord. And as we come to adore, venerate and exalt this Holy Cross; let us approach it with Faith and Courage. Because, the Cross of Jesus is the ‘Tree of Life.’ It brought back life, which we had lost in the garden of Eden through sin. We read in the first Book of the Bible Gen. 2,9 God put in the Garden of Eden, trees good for food. But there He also put the Tree of Life and also the ‘tree of knowledge of good and evil’. God told man never to eat of the tree of Knowledge of good and evil. But that ancient serpent deceived man to eat it, man disobeyed and ate, he sinned. We read in Gen.3,24, God banished man from the garden lest he eats of the tree of life in a state of sin and there remain eternally in a state of sin. God however, out of His great love started a mission of saving humanity. And this was accomplished with the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, who saved us all by His death on the Cross planted at Calvary. The Cross of Jesus is the Tree of Life as we read in the last book of the Bible, Rev.2,7 “…those who prove Victorious I will allow to eat of the tree of life planted in the garden of God.” we legionaries we have to prove victorious, we have a role to play; to carry our crosses daily and follow Him. We prove victorious when we attain our object, the object of the Legion. “The Glory of God through holiness of its individual members, developed by prayer and active cooperation, under the ecclesiastical guidance, in Mary’s and the Church’s work of crushing the head of the serpent and advancing the reign of Christ”. For us life is a battle, a battle we must win. Sin is that fiery serpent that kills; it is only overcome by looking at the poison-less bronze serpent on the tree. Our Lord Jesus who was sinless but put on the Cross to heal those who get poisoned by sin. So let us embrace that cross. Jesus had the most positive attitude of the cross. He took all our sins, upon Himself. In the state of sin and pain we must rush to Him to be healed. Let us have that childlike confidence in him. If we unite our crosses, the sufferings, the pains in life, we get to know that for us Christians all these are moments to rejoice. St. Peter will tell us Rejoice, rejoice when suffering. Do not be upset and angry when suffering. (1 pet. 4,12-19). And st. James will say count it all joy when suffering. (James, 1,2). And St. Paul; ‘I rejoice in my suffering…’ (Col.1,24). So suffering for us Christians is a moment of Joy not being angry. For when there is a cross on our shoulders Jesus is closest to us not far away from us. So, every pain, every suffering we unite it to the Cross of our lord and the sorrows of our Lady. Our Lady of Seven Sorrows. Arch Bp. Fulton J Sheen, in his book, Worlds First Love, Mary Mother of God tells us in Chap. 10 entitled Love and Sorrow that “Our Lord allowed Mary to suffer trials… In order to convince mothers with sorrows that trials can be overcome and that the final issues of life are not solved here on earth. For if the father gave His Son a Cross and the Mother a Sword, then somehow sorrow does fit into the Divine plan of Life.” Therefore, any pain, any suffering, any cross, any sorrow when united with our Lord’s Cross and Our Lady’s sorrows will yield for us life. The head of that ancient serpent will be crashed by our Lady’s Immaculate feet and the reign of Christ advanced by ever raising His Cross in Victory. The Cross of Christ is for us not a shame, not a destruction, nor a rejection, not a punishment or defeat, but a victory. “Christians are the only people in history who know that the story of the universe has a happy ending” (Fulton j. Sheen). For us legionaries we are fully aware of this fact the reason we pray, ‘…the battle of life over our legion may reassemble without the loss of anyone.’ Our mother Mary knew it too and she sang of it in the Magnificant. We are to imitate her, we are to remember God’s Mercy and rejoice. This will help us to renew. What we fail to understand in life, we keep in our hearts and offer to Mary. We keep meditating and praying over it until God fulfils His hidden plans in our lives. Unfortunately, human tendency is to complain about every pain, to tell our sorrows to everyone else except God.