Word on Fire

The Sign of the Cross: Recovering the Power of the Ancient Prayer

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The sign of the cross finds its roots in the earliest centuries of the Church and is used today by millions of Christians worldwide. But it is all too easy to make this sign in a routine and superficial way at the beginning and end of a prayer, failing to recognize its true significance.

In The Sign of the Cross: Recovering the Power of the Ancient Prayer, Bert Ghezzi reminds us that the sign of the cross is a prayer in itself--one that bears great spiritual power. Ghezzi offers a short history of the sign of the cross and then highlights several key truths to reflect upon as we make this sign. By making the sign of the cross, we open ourselves to God and confess our faith in the Trinity; we renew our Baptism, choosing to live the supernatural life that we received through it; we affirm and declare ourselves as disciples of Christ, and accept and embrace suffering in union with his suffering; we repel the devil, reminding him of the victory of Christ on the cross; and we resist our self-indulgence and tendency toward sin.

The sign of the cross sums up our Christian life and vocation, and calls us to embrace the will of God and to reject everything that is opposed to it. This simple but profound act of faith affirms God's love for us and opens us up to the spiritual power he wants to release in our lives.

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