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The Power of the Sign of the Cross

Sign of the Cross

 Touch the forehead, stomach, left shoulder, right shoulder, then fold your hands in prayer.

Why do Catholics make the sign of the cross?  What does it mean?  Is it just a gesture or superstition?

 

The sign of the cross dates back to the second century in the Early Church.  It started out with making the cross on the forehead with the thumb or index finger but then changed into a larger cross on the forehead, chest and shoulders.  People used it to secretly mark themselves during religious persecution.  In the ninth century, Pope Leo IX instructed the faithful on this devotional/prayer.  It is a reminder of the crucifixion and suffering of Jesus.

We bless ourselves with holy water and the sign of the cross when we come into or out of a church, during a sacrament, and in remembrance of our Baptismal promises.  Catholics usually begin and end all prayers with the sign of the cross.  What we are saying is the prayer or request “In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  Amen”  When we say a prayer in the name of the Trinity as above, we are calling upon them with confidence that our prayers will be answered and in love and worship of the Trinity.  The word “Amen” means “I believe”.  When we do this, we are asking for and receiving grace from God.

Making the sign of the cross is a prayer in itself.  A very reverent devotion a person can do is every time you pass by a Catholic Church, is to make the sign of the cross as you pass.  Why do that?  Because, Jesus is in the Church in the Eucharist in the Tabernacle.  You are saying you believe in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.  I do this every time I pass by one even if I’m just passing by in another town.

Another thing you can do, every time you see an ambulance or life-flight helicopter for someone ill, make the sign of the cross in a prayer for the removal of their sins and salvation of their soul, also for their quick recovery.

If you ever feel alone, lonely, in danger, or that evil may be around you, make the sign of the cross and this will help to keep your soul safe and keep the safety and security of all of heaven around you.

Making the sign of the cross with holy water also absolves your venial (little) sins.  Make the sign of the cross often.  Keep a bottle of holy water handy and do it before you go to bed, get up in the morning, leave the house, return home, feeling ill, anytime that you feel the need.  The sign of the cross is a short, humble little prayer but so powerful.

See this link for more information.

 

 

 

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What are the Stations of the Cross?

The Stations of the Cross or Way of the Cross are a devotion that takes you through each part of the Passion (suffering and crucifixion) of Jesus.  This devotion typically has 14 stations although some add his resurrection to the end for a 15th station.  This devotion helps us to understand and “walk” with Jesus during his Passion and Crucifixion.  Most often, there are pictures, sculptures or statues along the walls of the Catholic Church depicting each station.  Some are very beautifully ornate.  These are not worshipped but used as a reminder of what Jesus went through for us.  These stations are all Bible based.  Typically the Stations of the Cross is done during Lent but can be done daily or weekly.  This is not done to re-crucify Jesus but to understand and devote oneself to the love of Jesus for what he did nor us.  Try this devotion this Lent and see if you don’t have a new appreciation for Jesus’ suffering for you.

  1. Jesus is condemned to death
  2. Jesus takes up his cross
  3. Jesus falls for the first time
  4. Jesus meets his mother
  5. Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus carry his cross
  6. Veronica wipes the face of Jesus
  7. Jesus falls a second time
  8. Jesus comforts the women
  9. Jesus falls a third time
  10. Jesus is stripped
  11. Jesus is nailed to the cross
  12. Jesus dies on the cross
  13. Jesus is taken down from the cross
  14. Jesus is buried

A good webpage to help you pray the Stations of the Cross is http://www.ourcatholicfaith.org/stations/menu.html    You can go through each station with a click of the mouse.

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Change the World the Jesus way

If you are tired of this world falling apart around you, you can do something about it.  When you watch the news, it gets so discouraging because all you see is the world going down the tubes.

Now YOU can save the world by following these three devotions.

Prayer:  Pray this prayer on behalf of the world. “O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fount of Mercy for us, I trust in You.”  Pray especially for your enemies and for anyone who threatens the peace of the world and for their conversion.

Fasting:  Fast one day per week, preferably on Fridays because that’s the day the Lord was crucified, by eating bread and water or no more than one meal in the day collectively.  Make sure you are healthy enough to do this.  Fasting = Less food, more water, and finding Christ in the quiet of our self emptying. He fills us with His presence. Fast on Wednesdays and Fridays. (Courtesy of: http://www.catholic.org/clife/lent/story.php?id=67271 )  Offer up your sacrifice saying “I offer up my sacrifice today, nailed to the cross, for Jesus, on behalf of the world for the reparation of our sins.”

Repent:  Many think they don’t sin these days.  We all sin.  We need to admit our sins and be sorry for them and we need to repair our ways and make them more in line to Jesus.  Pray the Act of Contrition:  O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven, and the pains of hell; but most of all because they offend Thee, my God, Who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life.  Amen. (https://www.ewtn.com/Devotionals/prayers/contrit.htm)  We can also pray this prayer on behalf of the world.

So when you feel so helpless in our chaotic world, you CAN do something and God loves it when you Pray, Fast, and Repent.  You would be helping the world to convert by God’s grace and we really need it right now.  God listens to His little ones.