What does it mean to ascend the cross?

“You must not be greatly troubled about many things, but you should care for the main thing,  preparing yourself for death.”
+ St. Ambrose of Optina
    St. Ambros, just as other holy Saints of the Church knew what it meant to ascend the cross. They knew that the entirety of our existence should be dedicated to repentance; not merely avoiding evil and sin, but embracing the divine love of God expressed in the God-man Jesus Christ. That is, Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life and it is through Him that we ascend our cross.
May God grant us a good beginning at this very moment to struggle and embrace His love and mercy +

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