why do we make the sign of the cross catholic
Catholics make the sign of the cross because it is a brief profession of the Christian faith, which we received from the Apostles. Through the Sign of the Cross we place ourselves under the protection of the Triune God. (
As often as we make the sign of the cross in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, we are saying that we believe in God, a Trinity of three persons, and the Redemption of the Cross. Calling on God by name sanctifies (blesses) the things we set out to do. It obtains for us blessings and strengthens us in difficulties and temptations. St. Cyril of Jerusalem taught the sign of the sross as a strong public witness of faith. He said, Let us not be ashamed to profess the Crucified One; let us confidently seal our forehead with our fingers, let us make the sign of the sross on everything, on the bread we eat and over the cup we drink.
Let us make this sign as we come and go, before sleeping, when we lie down and when we arise, while traveling and while resting. When we make the sign of the sross, we are reminding ourselves of the purpose of the cross, remembering the price that was paid. Our Lord calls it, in, The Sign of the Son of Man. St. John Chrysostom said, When, therefore, you sign yourself, think of the purpose of the cross, and quench any anger and all other passions. Consider the price that has been paid for you. The sign of the cross is our signature of faith. When we sign our name on a document or email, it tells others who we are.
Likewise, making the sign of the cross shows who we are as Catholics. The Sign of the Cross is primarily a blessing. We use it to call God's blessing upon us. We also use it, in both large and small versions, to bless others or things, such as a rosary. When used in this way,the large Sign of the Cross is made in the air. Laypersons as well as clergy can use it to bless others. Parents,for example, may use the Sign of the Cross to bless their children. When we make the Sign of the Cross upon ourselves, we are also expressing our belief in God and the Trinity. Through it, we remind ourselves of God's love for us, of the sacrifice Jesus made to give us eternal life, and of the presence of the Holy Spirit within us.
The Sign of the Cross also gives us a way to express our belief in Jesus' death and our hope in the Resurrection. We embrace the cross of Jesus and express our willingness to take up our own cross, all the while bursting with joyful hope in the Resurrection. The routine at Mass of making the small Sign of the Cross on our foreheads, lips, and chest before the reading of eh Gospel also has meaning. In doing this, we acknowledge our belief in the Word of God, our commitment to spread God's Word in our daily lives, and our awareness of God's presence in our hearts. So while making the Sign of the Cross may sometimes seem like a routine action, it is not. It marks us as Christians and is a visible expression of our belief and hope in God.
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