How many times have we skipped praying before a meal? How many times have we hesitated, or completely disregarded making the Sign of the Cross outside of religious functions? In the society we live in, it is becoming increasingly hard to bring our faith out into the world. The media encourages us to leave our religion in the church and live by our own rules. The common phrase has become YOLO (you only live once); an excuse to be reckless, instead of knowing that what we do in this life carries over to the next. How can we call ourselves Catholic if we do not show the world so? We must practoce what we preach, and show the world how powerful the cross we live for, truly is.
It is true that many religions do not choose to show the general public actiosn relating to their faith. However, the Sign of the Cross itself has been a tradition in the Catholic Church since the time of the Apostles. Bert Ghezzi, a journalist for “Our Sunday Visitor,” states that there are “six perspectives on the Sign of the Cross that reveal why making it opens us to life-transforming graces.” According to Ghezzi’s article on the “Our Sunday Visitor’s” website titled “Why Catholics Make the Sign of the Cross”, the short prayer acts as a “mini creed, a renewal of baptism, a mark of discipleship, am acceptance of suffering, a move against the devil, and a victory over the flesh.” We make this sign before and after prayer as a reminder of the cross on which Jesus Christ died for us. Just as Ghezzi writes, it is a mark of discipleship for the faithful. The cross represents our salvation, and with that comes the highest honor and perhaps the greatest challenge: bringing it out into the world.
With the blessing of a new pope who encourages us to take on the world, we have been given a new inspiration. Pope Francis once told his priests in Argentina: “Jesus teaches us in another way: Go out. Go out and share your testimony, go out and interact with your brothers, go out and share, go out and ask. Become the Word in body as well as spirit.” Every day we witness examples of faith. At the second football game of the HCHS season, if you would have watched the opposing team during our opening prayer, you would have seen a group of about six or eight players make the Sign of the Cross with us. They proved that it’s the little things that count. The small reminders of the promises we have made can change the points of view of other’s; can change people’s lives.
St. Cyril of Jerusalem once said: “Let us not be afraid to profess the Crucified One; let us confidently seal our forehead with our fingers, let us make the Sign of the Cross on everything, on the bread we eat and over the cup we drink. Let us make this sign as we come and go, before sleeping, when we arise, while traveling, and while resting.” The power of the cross brings us through the trials and tribulations that life brings. It lets us know that we are not alone. Though it can be a small symbol, what it represents is so much greater than that. All that it asks of us in return is to spread the Gospel, spread its power, and bring others to Christ. The question is: How will we answer? As students of Helias Catholic High School, we reply, “Live Jesus in Our Hearts, Forever.”
The Crusader Raid, Vol. 6, Num. 1
The “Home” coming for the Holidays Issue