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We fling our images aside and address our prayers to God as he has revealed himself to be: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” 9. In first lifting our hand to our forehead we recall that the Father is the first person the Trinity. In affirming our belief in the Incarnation, the crucifixion, and the Trinity, we are making a sort of mini-confession of faith in words and gestures, proclaiming the core truths of the creed. Be the Cross our seal made with boldness by our fingers on our brow, and on everything; over the bread we eat, and the cups we drink; in our comings in, and goings out; before our sleep, when we lie down and when we rise up; when we are in the way, and when we are still,” wrote St. Sources include: Stephen Beale is a freelance writer based in Providence, Rhode Island.

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“No empty gesture, the sign of the cross is a potent prayer that engages the Holy Spirit as the divine advocate and agent of our successful Christian living,” writes Bert Ghezzi. (I’m paraphrasing this Russian Orthodox writer.) “Let it take in your whole being—body, soul, mind, will, thoughts, feelings, your doing and not-doing—and by signing it with the cross strengthen and consecrate the whole in the strength of Christ, in the name of the triune God,” said twentieth century theologian Romano Guardini. Holding two fingers together—either the thumb with the ring finger or with index finger—also represents the two natures of Christ. This remembrance is deepened if we keep our right hand open, using all five fingers to make the sign—corresponding to the Five Wounds of Christ. This is also reinforced by using three fingers to make the sign, according to Pope Innocent III. When this happens, our prayer becomes more about us than an encounter with the living God. If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it.” 12. Whoever wishes to follow Christ “must deny himself” and “take up his cross” as Jesus told the disciples in Matthew . John Chrysostom, demons are said to “fly away” at the Sign of the Cross “dreading it as a staff that they are beaten with.” (Source: Catholic Encyclopedia.) 20. In the New Testament, the word sphragis, mentioned above, is also sometimes translated as seal, as in 2 Corinthians , where St. As a gesture often made in public, the Sign of the Cross is a simple way to witness our faith to others.

The Sign of the Cross immediately focuses us on the true God, according to Ghezzi: “When we invoke the Trinity, we fix our attention on the God who made us, not on the God we have made. Paul writes that, “the one who gives us security with you in Christ and who anointed us is God; he has also put his seal upon us and given the Spirit in our hearts as a first installment.” In making the Sign of the Cross, we are once again sealing ourselves in the Spirit, invoking His powerful intervention in our lives. “Let us not then be ashamed to confess the Crucified.

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