Why Do Catholics Make The Sign of the Cross?
Now that I am 2 days from being the parent of a nine-year old girl, the eye-rolls and the "but Dad's" are getting a bit more common. Yesterday, I commented to Sonja about her Sign of the Cross after saying Grace and told her I thought it looked rushed, lie a "quick whatever.". Then, I politely asked her to redo it which of course she rolled her eyes. Well, I wasn't going to let her get away with it, so after she did it to my satisfaction (it took a few tries), I made it clear to her how I felt about this practice and how important a sign of faith it is to Catholics.
After a few "but Dad's," I think she got the point.
I always understood the Sign of the Cross to be a blessing, an outward sign of faith, a representation of the Trinity, and a beginning and ending for our prayers. However, something I have never considered, is how by the Sign of the Cross "we are united to Christ's passion, death and ressurection."
St. Paul talks about in his Letter to the Romans:
We were indeed buried with him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live in newness of life. For if we have grown into union with him through a death like his, we shall also be united with him in the resurrection. (Rom. 6:4-5)
By making the Sign of the Cross, we are putting on Christ "We take the sign of His cross to our own bodies" (emphasis added) as Fr. Rice points out. We "recognize that all we are and all we do is connected to the mystery of the Trinity." The sign of the cross is one of our basic acts as Catholics. It is both a simple but powerful sign, yet so many of us just rush through it to get it done. Maybe we don't think enough about the simple things...and don't roll your eyes at me.