Monday, 15 January 2007

Making the Sign of the Cross

Ok, time for a bit of theology (well, I can't keep posting about the weather, even if I am British!)

We had a comment about making the sign with reverence at one of our Confirmation classes, and Father Tim reminded everyone that Our Lady took the trouble to teach St. Bernadette how to make the Sign of the Cross with reverence - and I remember reading that others commented on how beautiful it was to see.

And now Diane at Te Deum Laudamus has put up a post which is well worth a read. Here's a snippet:

WHEN we cross ourselves, let it be with a real sign of the cross. Instead of a small cramped gesture that gives no notion of its meaning, let us make a large unhurried sign, from forehead to breast, from shoulder to shoulder, consciously feeling how it includes the whole of us, our thoughts, our attitudes, our body and soul, every part of us at once. how it consecrates and sanctifies us.

It does so because it is the Sign of the universe and the sign of our redemption. On the cross Christ redeemed mankind. By the cross he sanctifies man to the last shred and fibre of his being. We make the sign of the cross before we pray to collect and compose ourselves and to fix our minds and hearts and wills upon God. We make it when we finish praying in order that we may hold fast the gift we have received from God. In temptations we sign ourselves to be strengthened; in dangers, to be protected. The cross is signed upon us in blessings in order that the fulness of God's life may flow into the soul and fructify and sanctify us wholly.

5 comments:

Adoro Te Devote said...

Wow, this is such a beautiful description of this prayer (which it is).

Thank you. Next week I have to give a talk on Catholic customs, and people often want an explanation of the Sign of the Cross. I'm going to use this.

I'm also going to be giving a lot more thought to the Sign of the Cross when I bless myself...always.

God bless you!

AutumnRose said...

Thank you for that...I shared the lovely explanation of the sign of the Cross you posted with some non-Catholic friends today!

Diane said...

Be sure to reference Romano Guardini who wrote that beautiful explanation. More of his writings will be explored in the coming weeks.

Mark said...

Mac,

Thanks so much for this. What a wonderful post from Diane!

Myself, I make a big cross most of the time, not self-consciously, but because I want to.

I have noticed, though--there are times when I have been taught to cross myself (certain parts of the Mass), where the rest of the congregation there, and at those times I find myself making a smaller sign of the cross. Maybe I'm either shy, or I just don't want to upset the rest of the congregation!?

Favorite Apron said...

And it's a beautiful reminder of our baptism.

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