Sunday, April 22, 2012

Why do we make the Sign of the Cross?

St. Bernadette
Today at Mass as the children and I were leaving we saw Connor, one of the members of our children's rosary.  We first waved at him and then said hello.  He pointed at me and then said something.  Not hearing what he said I moved a bit closer.  I then heard the word amen.  He then began to make the sign of the cross and again said amen as he finished.  Connor is a wonderfully happy boy with Downes Syndrome.  He is a greeter for the 10:30 Mass on Sunday.  Today it was wonderful to see him.  The time he took to place his hand across himself and the joy in his face as he did it was a beautiful witness of the power of this act of consecration.   As he repeatedly made the sign of the cross I began to remember words I had heard a long time ago.  They were words originally spoken by St. Bernadette when she was asked how one gets to heaven.  She responded, start with making the sign of the cross.

As Saint Bernadette had learned how to make the sign of the cross from Our Lady, Bernadette converted many souls who saw her make the sign of the cross.  Many were brought to tears.  In a recent article by Bert Ghezzi he lists six ways that making the sign of the cross opens Catholics to life changing graces:
First, let’s sign ourselves professing our faith in God.
Second, let’s mark our selves remembering that we died with Christ in baptism.
Third, let’s make the sign to declare that we belong to Christ and that we will obey him.
Fourth, let’s sign ourselves to embrace whatever suffering comes and to celebrate our suffering with Christ for the Church.
Fifth, let’s make the sign of the cross as a defense against the devil and as an offensive advance of God’s kingdom against him.
Sixth, let’s make it to crucify our flesh and to put on Christ and his behaviors. 
Pope Benedict XVI makes the sign of the cross
Full article "Why Catholics Make the sign of the cross"

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