Exaltation of the Holy Cross. Cycle B-2021. 14 Sep 2018. Numbers 21:4b-9 + Philippians 2:6-11 + John 3:13-17.
THE SIGN OFF THE CROSS.
“In hoc signo vincit (In this sign you shall conquer).” In 312 A.D, heeding this Sign of the Cross that flashed in the sky before him and his army, Constantine marched to battle with the Cross as standard and went on to vanquish his foe. When he became the emperor, the Roman Empire converted to Christianity.
By The Sign of the Cross as standard, the Christian will continue to vanquish his foes, physical and spiritual.
To make the Sign of the Cross, the open left palm is pressed over the chest, while the open right palm traces the cross over the body. The middle finger of the right hand touches the forehead first, saying, “In the Name of the Father…,” then the chest next, saying, “and of the Son…,” on to the left shoulder, saying, “and of the Holy…,” then, last, to the right shoulder, saying, “Spirit.” The right palm then moves to the top of the left hand on the chest, forming a cross, while saying, “Amen.”
This is the common way of signing oneself with the cross. Another way to do it is by tracing the cross with the right thumb over one’s forehead, saying, “In the name of the Father…,” then over one’s closed lips, saying, “and of the Son…,” then over one’s chest, saying, “and of the Holy Spirit.” The right palm moves to the top of the chest while saying, “Amen.”
The Sign of the Cross is a prayer for blessing for oneself; it is also a prayer to bless someone else. The second way of making the Sign of the Cross is more conveniently used for blessing someone else. Whichever way to do it, the Sign of the Cross is to be done deliberately, not hurriedly.
SIGN IN WITH THE CROSS
Although, only Catholics practice the signing with the cross, every Christian should practice it, for it is a profession of Christian Faith in The Holy Trinity, and the acknowledgement of his salvation by the Cross.
The Christian signs in after rising from sleep, to open the new day to work with the Creator. He opens himself to a blessing and a partnership with the Maker of all things. Like signing into an app, signing in with the cross avails the Christian to all the utilities and facilities the Sign of the Cross provides.
Jesus prayed before major events in His life, and before making major decisions. The Christian, likewise, by the Sign of the Cross, asks for God’s blessing before and after making important decisions, and before and after major events.
In fact, a work is most rewarding when every phase of it be marked with the Sign of the Cross.
The sign of the cross starts and ends every prayer, the communication with God. We sign in prayer with the Sign of the Cross, we sign off prayer with the Sign of the Cross.
By the Sign of the Cross, we pledge obedience to the Truth, and accept our cross, as we follow Jesus on the Way to Life.
When experiencing difficulties and uncertainties, signing with the cross is the call for divine rescue to give us strength. It is sending a GPS signal of our location to the LORD for Him to direct us.
The Sign of the Cross is a deterrent to evil spirits, and a weapon in exorcism. It strengthens us to resist temptation. “By this sign, you shall conquer.”
The Sign of the Cross is the Christian’s GPS to heaven. It positions us to more graces in life; it beckons us to follow the Word of God. It links horizontally man to man; and links vertically man to the Divine.
The Sign of the Cross is a Christian’s ID on earth—“I belong to Jesus Christ.” Sadly, wearing the cross out had been identified with gangsters, rather than with Christians, because gangs wear the cross out more often, and more ostentatiously, than Christians do.
The Sign of the Cross is a passport in the trip to heaven. It is the password to enter heaven. Saints, accordingly, made the sign of the cross very often, and had reportedly made righteousness more workable, and martyrdom more bearable.
We cannot make too many Signs of the Cross each day. Even in the Holy Mass of the centuries, the Extraordinary Form Latin Mass, the Sign of the Cross is made extraordinarily frequent.
Like clicking Save frequently to preserve a digital work from unexpected operation or power failure, making the Sign of the Cross frequently is a periodic Save against unexpected difficulties.
SIGN OFF WITH THE CROSS.
The Christian ends the day as he traces anew the Sign of the Cross over his body, saying: “Glory be the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.”
We offer to God our achievements, our successes, our shortcomings, and our failures, and we ask Him to bless these.
And we ask God to bless us and to give us a restful sleep. It is in our sleep, that we trust God to secure us in our most helpless unconsciousness. “My soul is restless until it rests in thee” (St. Augustine).
By the Sign of the Cross the Christian is signed, sealed, and delivered. VSS
Picture credit: How to make the SIGN OF THE CROSS, from TheCatholicKid.com