Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Signing the Cross

Here's a patristic quote on signing the cross:

"Let us not be ashamed to confess the Crucified. Let the cross, as our seal, be boldly made with our fingers upon our brow, and on all occasions; over the bread we eat, over the cups we drink; in our comings and in our goings; before sleep; on lying down and rising up; when we are on the way and when we are still. It is a powerful safeguard; it is without price, for the sake of the poor; without toil, because of the sick; for it is the grace from God, a badge of the faithful, and a terror to devils; for 'he displayed them openly, leading them away in triumph for force of it.' For when they see the cross, they are reminded of the Crucified".
- Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures, 13.36.

I'm not sure if signing the cross will heal people or keep evil spirits away, but remembering the cross from morn to dawn, immersing oneself in symbolism related to the cross, and eating bread and wine in memory of Calvary sounds like a good way to cultivate a cruciformed spirituality.

1 comment:

CS Sweatman said...

This may reveal my ignorance in such matters, but I found it interesting that the signing of the cross was limited to the "brow" alone--not the typical inclusion of the upper-torso.