A reminder for these days: Making the sign of the cross

A Reminder for these days: Making the Sign of the Cross

The cross is a concrete act of love that God bears to us; the sign of the cross is a gesture of love which we return to God.

This simple movement of the hand has profound spiritual value, efficacy and it is also a sacramental.

A sacramental is something which disposes us to receiving God’s grace and protection.

Further explained in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

There are many articles on the power of the sign of the cross.

During these days is a time to reflect again on its meaning, protection and the act of faith it entails.

The sign of the cross is an action through which we affirm our belief in the Trinity and invoke the seal of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit over our mind, body and soul.

We can make the sign of the cross at several moments throughout our day.

The more consciously aware we are of this reverent action we are making, the more aware we become of the blessing and protection bestowed on us in that moment.

We can entrust our thoughts, feelings and actions to God and invoke His presence in all that we do.

When did the practice of making the sign of the cross originate?

Dating back to the writings of the Early Church Fathers, there are recordings of this practice.

Tertullian, in the second –  third century AD, in his treatise called “De Corona”, shows that this practice was commonplace amongst the early Christians.

“In all our travels and movements, in all our coming in and going out, in putting on our shoes, at the bath, at the table, in lighting our candles, in lying down, in sitting down, whatever employment occupieth us, we mark our forehead with the sign of the cross.” (De Corona, 3) Along with our prayer, we too can make this sign before important moments of our day, especially as we wake in the morning or before our sleep at night, sealing the opening and closing of our day with the presence of God.

Today, especially during these times we can become increasingly aware of God’s protection with us and each time we mark ourselves with the sign of the cross let it be a sign of our confidence and trust in God.

 

Eileen O’Driscoll,

Catechist