What if every time we made the Sign of the Cross, we did so with intention, with the knowledge that the act gives voice to the depth of our faith as baptized Christians in whom Christ has come to dwell? Consider this reflection by Bert Ghezzi:
The Sign of the Cross is not merely a pious gesture. It is a powerful prayer.
The Sign of the Cross is a profession of faith in God as he revealed himself. It serves as an abbreviated form of the Apostles’ Creed. Touching our forehead, breast and shoulders, we declare our belief in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We are announcing our faith in what God has done – the creation of all things, the redemption of humanity from sin and death, and the establishment of the Church, which offers new life to all. When we sign ourselves we are making ourselves aware of God’s presence and opening ourselves to his action in our lives.
First-century Christians began making the sign of the cross as a reminder and renewal of what happened to them when they were baptized. It still works the same way for us. When we sign ourselves we are declaring that in baptism we died sacramentally with Christ on the cross and rose to a new life with him… We are asking the Lord to renew in us those baptismal graces. We are also acknowledging that baptism joined us to the body of Christ and equipped us for our role of collaborating with the Lord in his work of rescuing all people from sin and death.
To read Bert Ghezzi’s complete article Why Catholics Make the Sign of the Cross, and how intentionality doing so was transformative in his life, click here.
Image source: Wall painting of St. Paul the Apostle making the sign of the cross, Ephesus, 4th century, http://www.pc-freak.net/blog/christian-origin-crossing-finger/