Friday, November 7, 2008

44 Things I love about being Catholic.... #6 a simple prayer

I love The Sign of The Cross......where you say, "In the name of the Father" you touch your forehead, "the Son" as you touch your sternum and the "and the Holy Spirit" as you touch each shoulder. Follow with a big AMEN.

This is a visual and verbal prayer acknowledging the God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit...the Trinity using the visual of the cross which Jesus died for us on.

The sign of the cross is probably one of the most used sacramentals of the church. Probably most familiar, its used to start and end prayers and when blessing one's self with Holy Water. When I was in grade school we were instructed to make this sign when we heard a a blessing for those in the car/truck/ambulance and for those they were going to help - I still do it sometimes, probably need to do it more! Sometimes when I am trying to think of a prayer, I will just sign myself - as the simplest of prayers.

I came across an optional prayer to pray after signing yourself, said to be favored by St. Benedict which I think I might give a whirl:
By the Sign of the Cross, deliver me from my enemies, O Lord.

I must admit there are times when I lack boldness in my faith when it comes to signing myself in public. NOW, I don't think there needs to be this big dramatic motion for it to be an effective prayer, simple is always good....but I guess sometimes we don't want to stick out as "one of those people" and it takes courage to do a simple sign of the cross.

I came across this from Saint Cyril a Bishop of Jerusalem which I am now reflecting on and thinking, I need to be bold to honor my God:

Let us not then be ashamed to confess the Crucified. Be the Cross our seal made with boldness by our fingers on our brow and in 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 awake; when we are in the way and when we are still. Great is that preservative; it is without price, for the poor's sake; without toil, for the sick, since also its grace is from God. It is the Sign of the faithful, and the dread of evils; for He has triumphed over them in it, having made a shew of them openly; for when they see the Cross, they are reminded of the Crucified; they are afraid of Him, Who hath bruised the heads of the dragon. Despise not the Seal, because of the freeness of the Gift; but for this rather honor thy Benefactor." -- St. Cyril of Jerusalem, A.D. 315 - 386

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