Monday, February 25, 2013

The Sign of the Cross: A Lenten Reflection

I am reading Edward Sri’s "A Biblical Walk Through The Mass: Understanding What We Say And Do In The Liturgy." First, he covers the Sign of the Cross, stating that we, first, are expressing our desire to be set apart from the corrupt ways of the world in our own day and, secondly, that we are invoking God’s protection for our lives, asking Him to guard us from all harm and evil.

This caused me to pause and examine myself. Is it really my desire to be set apart from the corrupt ways of the world? Mr. Sri continued: “…making the sign of the cross can express a firm commitment to live according to Christ’s standards, not the world’s. While the secular world holds up money, pleasure, power, and having fun as the essential marks of a good life, Christians pursue a higher path to true happiness, which is found only in the sacrificial love of Christ on Calvary—the love symbolized by the sign of the cross.” This caused me to question whether I honestly loved God. What does it mean to love God?

We are commanded to love God with all our heart—which encompasses my whole mind, emotions, and strength. This means not seeking paths of my choosing, by seeking the path of God. The Sign of the Cross will be a way of reminding me to pray that God give us the grace to “desire to be set apart from the corrupt ways of the world” and then to give us the grace to turn our backs upon them, having a greater desire for holiness.

By God’s grace, this will be a good preparation for the Mass. If, during the week, we are doing the Sign of the Cross, expressing our desire to be set apart from corrupt ways, how much more will the impact be when we come into the literal presence of our Lord Jesus Christ, preparing to receive Him—body, blood, soul, and divinity—into our very bodies.

I am a sinner, yet I must move my mind forward. I am not invoking God Almighty in order that I may continue in my sins. We are sinner-saints, sinners on a journey to being saints. Confessing that we are sinners is a sign of humility; nevertheless, we cannot become comfortable in our sins. Our Lord compares sinners to the sick. The sick need to be healed; sinners need to be healed. If there is no progression towards holiness, then there is no faith. T.T.