Each cross is carved individually from a unique piece of beautifully grained olive wood. This wood is pruned from the olive trees around Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus. Christians have been carving crosses like this for hundreds of years, originally for pilgrims and more recently for tourists visiting the Holy Land.
Each craftsman is a Christian living in Bethlehem who receives a fair price to support their family.
Praying with a holding cross can be a comfort during centering prayer, a helpful presence during lectio divina, and a faithful reminder of God's presence during the prayer of examen.
A holding cross is also sometimes called a pocket cross, comfort cross, or caring cross. These small crosses are designed to fit comfortably into the palm of your hand as a tactile aid to prayer. Use it as a spiritual companion for easing children's fears, to comfort the worry and stress of adults, and to focus the prayer of the sick and elderly.
Small Holding Cross: 2.5 x 1.5 x 0.4 inches
Medium Holding Cross: 3.75 x 1.75 x 0.5 inches
Throughout the insecurity and unpredictability of 2020, I carried this cross in my purse in a little pouch with other anti-anxiety helps (I refer to the pouch as my "freak-out bag"). It's a lovely grounding tool, a comfort to hold, and a sweet reminder of the ever-present Christ even when the world feels topsy-turvy.
I use this daily. Much like a rubbing stone, it has come into my hands as a way to calm myself, find patience, seek love for my kids and really just restructure my behaviors and anxieties. I have 4-5 around the house and I keep one in my purse. My kids also use them when they are struggling.
The ability to reach out and touch something, hold something, aids in refocusing and breathing deeply.
I leave this little cross in my pocket, and it helps me to refocus my day. Any time I slip my hand in my pocket, I am reminded to recenter my thoughts and actions on God. It is small enough to fit in your pocket and the shape and smoothness makes it easy to hold.
I love using this cross as a fidget tool when having conversations with young people who engage so much better when their hands are busy. It is beautifully carved and I love the faint scent of olive.
I wasn't expecting much, it's just a wooden cross, but I thought it would be neat to place on a side table as a sort of curiosity. But I found that sometimes when I am especially worried or contemplative, I enjoy picking it up to hold and touch while I'm praying. I can fidget with it as I form my prayer and it provides a sense of comfort that as I am turning it over in my hands, I am literally turning it over to god with my prayer, and that he understands my worry and participates in the solution with me. One of those purchases you love way more than you knew you needed. Yay!!