As Catholics, many times we make the Sign of the Cross a habit and see making the Sign the Cross as a virtuous gesture. However, the Bible, the Fathers, the Saints in the Church, and Catholic teaching offer six profound views on the Sign of the Cross that show why making the Sign of the Cross is a profession of virtue faith, a powerful prayer, and a means of opening us up to graces.
1. Sign of the Cross, a brief Creed.
The Sign of the Cross is an abbreviated version of the Apostles’ Creed that serves as a profession of faith in God as revealed by him.
We profess our faith in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit by touching our forehead, chest, shoulder, and, in some cultures, our lips. We express our faith in what God has done: created all things, redeemed mankind from sin and death, established the Church, and given new life to all people. As a result, when we make the Sign of the Cross, we are reminded of God’s presence and open to His activities in our lives.
2. A renewal of baptism
The Sign of the Cross was made by first-century Christians as a reminder and renewal of what happened when they were baptized. So far, this has worked the same for us.
By making the Sign of the Cross, we declare that in baptism, we died with Christ on the cross and have been raised with him to new life (cf. Rom 6:3-4 and Gal 2:20). . At the same time, we ask the Lord to renew the baptismal graces we have received in us. In concrete terms, we recognize that Baptism unites us to Christ and prepares us to participate in his plan of salvation.
3. A mark of discipleship.
When we are baptized, we are given to Christ by the inscribed Sign of the Cross. As a result, whenever we make the Sign of the Cross, we deny our belonging, declare our belonging to Christ, and affirm our allegiance to him (cf. Lk 9:23).
The Church’s Fathers used a similar term for the ancient world’s Sign of the Cross, which was used to denote ownership. The same word is used to mark the shepherd’s name on the flock of sheep, a general’s tattoo on soldiers, the master’s mark on the servant, and Christ’s seal on his disciples.
By making the Sign of the Cross, we signify that we are Christ’s sheep and fully rely on His care; that we are soldiers tasked with working under Christ to build God’s kingdom here on earth; and that we are servants to do whatever Christ asks of us.
4. A willingness to accept suffering.
Suffering, Jesus said, would be a part of the disciple’s life (cf. Lk 9:23-24). So, when we make the Sign of the Cross, we are ready to take up our cross and follow Christ (Lk 9:23), as well as open our hearts to whatever suffering may come our way.
This, however, brings us comfort when we realize that Christ, who was crucified, also accompanies and sustains us in all our tribulations.
Furthermore, making the Sign of the Cross proclaims another truth: we bear our sufferings as members of Christ, to contribute to the work of salvation, and to benefit ourselves, just as Saint Paul did. advantageous to his body, the Church (cf. Col 1:24).
5. Dual weapon against the devil.
Jesus’ death on the cross was a great victory over evil and the devil, not a defeat (cf. 1 Cor 2:8). Thus, by making the Sign of the Cross, we declare our resistance to the devil’s influence. More importantly, It is an offensive weapon that assists us in collaborating with Jesus in defending God’s kingdom against the forces of darkness and evil.
6. Sign of the Cross, a victorious power over the flesh.
The word “flesh” in the New Testament refers to all the evil tendencies of the old self that remain in us even after we die with Christ in baptism (cf. Gal 5, 16- 22).
By making the Sign of the Cross, we express our determination to put off our evil inclinations and put on the new man, who is Christ’s deeds (cf. Col 3:5-5). 15) and live in accordance with the Spirit’s leading.
The Church’s Fathers taught that the Sign of the Cross dispels the power of strong temptations like anger and lust. As a result, let us make the Cross promote our freedom in Christ and the strength to fight and overcome the sins that surround us.
So, now that we’ve grasped the six profound reasons for making the Sign of the Cross, let us remember and remind ourselves every time we perform this very simple and familiar gesture.
- To declare our faith in God;
- To remember that in baptism, we died with Christ;
- To declare that we belong to Christ and know how to live as disciples at all times;
- To accept any suffering that comes as a result of being in communion with Christ and the Church;
- To vigorously fight for God’s kingdom against the devil;
- To nail our flesh to the cross in order to put on Christ and imitate His way of life.
It is hoped that as we make the Sign of the Cross with faith and reverence, we will receive blessings, be transformed, and experience the fruits of the Christian life: pray fervently. more effectively, combat their evil tendencies, and interact with others in a more peaceful, kind manner.