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Erick Rodríguez wrote:

Hi, Mike —

Thanks for the last answer. I have another question:

Why do we make the cross sign and what does it mean?

Thanks again.

Erick

  { Why do we make the Sign of the Cross and what does it mean? }

Mike replied:

Hi Erick,

Thanks for the question.

In the Catechism of the Catholic Church, what I call, the car manual for our human and divine body, the term "Sign of the Cross" is found in three places:

"THE PROFESSION OF FAITH SECTION TWO"
"Paragraph 2. The Church - People of God, Body of Christ, Temple of the Holy Spirit"

786 Finally, the People of God shares in the royal office of Christ. He exercises his kingship by drawing all men to himself through his death and Resurrection.[211] Christ, King and Lord of the universe, made himself the servant of all, for he came "not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."[212] For the Christian, "to reign is to serve him, particularly when serving "the poor and the suffering, in whom the Church recognizes the image of her poor and suffering founder."[213] The People of God fulfills its royal dignity by a life in keeping with its vocation to serve with Christ.

The sign of the cross makes kings of all those reborn in Christ and the anointing of the Holy Spirit consecrates them as priests, so that, apart from the particular service of our ministry, all spiritual and rational Christians are recognized as members of this royal race and sharers in Christ's priestly office. What, indeed, is as royal for a soul as to govern the body in obedience to God? And what is as priestly as to dedicate a pure conscience to the Lord and to offer the spotless offerings of devotion on the altar of the heart?[214]

Next under "How is the Sacrament of Baptism celebrated"

The mystagogy [or Post-baptismal Catechesis] of the celebration

1234 The meaning and grace of the sacrament of Baptism are clearly seen in the rites of its celebration. By following the gestures and words of this celebration with attentive participation, the faithful are initiated into the riches this sacrament signifies and actually brings about in each newly baptized person.

1235 The sign of the cross, on the threshold of the celebration, marks with the imprint of Christ the one who is going to belong to him and signifies the grace of the redemption Christ won for us by his cross.

and finally under the Christian Name:

2156 The sacrament of Baptism is conferred "in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."[85] In Baptism, the Lord's name sanctifies man, and the Christian receives his name in the Church. This can be the name of a saint, that is, of a disciple who has lived a life of exemplary fidelity to the Lord. The patron saint provides a model of charity; we are assured of his intercession. The "baptismal name" can also express a Christian mystery or Christian virtue. "Parents, sponsors, and the pastor are to see that a name is not given which is foreign to Christian sentiment."[86]

2157 The Christian begins his day, his prayers, and his activities with the Sign of the Cross: "in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen." The baptized person dedicates the day to the glory of God and calls on the Savior's grace which lets him act in the Spirit as a child of the Father. The sign of the cross strengthens us in temptations and difficulties.

From these paragraphs in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, we can see that when the Catholic Christian makes the Sign of the Cross, [he|she] is renewing [his|her} baptism promise to the Lord and asking the Lord for the grace to live a holy, courageous Christian life today.

Besides asking for Our Lord's help, one of my favorite habits is asking for special help and assistance from: Our Blessed Mother, the Doctors of the Church and the Early Church Fathers — those direct predecessors who followed the Apostles.

Hope this helps,

Mike

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The Early Church Fathers Church Fathers on the Primacy of Peter. The Early Church Fathers on the Catholic Church and the term Catholic. The Early Church Fathers on the importance of the Roman Catholic Church centered in Rome.