When we do the sign of the cross we are putting ourselves in the presence of God and are asking for His spiritual and physical protection. Yet, this simple prayer has a much more profound meaning.
The sign of the cross is simple. We trace a cross from our forehead to our chest and from one shoulder to the next, while saying “In the name of the Father, and the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” Making the sign of the cross is a practice that has been performed since the earliest days of Christianity. Back then they used to trace the sign of the cross on the forehead.
Tertullian, an early church father that lived between A.D. 160 and 220 said “At every forward step and movement, at every going in and out, when we put on our clothes and shoes, when we bathe, when we sit at table, when we light the lamps, on couch, on seat, in all the ordinary actions of daily life, we trace upon the forehead the sign.”
I probably do the sign of the cross 8 to 10 times a day. Wen we do the sign of the cross we should do it consciously and with devotion. We are professing our faith in the Holy Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and putting ourselves in mindful union with our loving and caring God. We are also gratefully acknowledging that God the Son chose to die in the cross for our salvation.
Making the sign of the cross is also a sign of discipleship. We are denying ourselves, taking our cross, and following Jesus. We are humbly proclaiming that our heart and our soul belong to Jesus and we seek to do His will at all times. “At every forward step and movement, at every going in and out…”
God bless you.