On Making The Sign of the Cross
When I make the Sign of the Cross it reminds me of many spiritual truths.
The Sign of the Cross reminds us of the Blessed Trinity and that God the Son died on the Cross. It revives our faith with belief in the Unity and Trinity of God and the Incarnation and Redemption. It strengthens our hope by recalling that all blessings come through the Cross and by fostering a habit of seeking aid through the Cross. Finally, it nourishes our charity symbolized by fortitude in acting as soldiers of Christ and Patience in disciples of Christ.
The Enchiridion of Indulgences of 1968 which states at grant 55: "A partial indulgence is granted to the faithful, who devoutly sign themselves with the sign of the cross, while saying the customary words: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. "] [For more on Roman Catholic Indulgences see the page on our site.]
According to many our Lord and the Apostles used it. Many affirm that our Lord blessed the Apostles with the sign of the cross on the day of His Ascension. Certainly the early Christians used it constantly.
It is used in all the public worship of our Church:
The sign of the cross in some form or other is made about 54 times during Holy Mass.
It is used frequently in the Divine Office or daily prayer of the priest.
It is used in all blessings bestowed by bishop and priest.
It is used in all the sacraments: 14 times in Baptism; 17 times in Extreme Unction. Yes, even in the semi-darkness of the confessional the priest makes the sign of the cross over you.
It is used in everything blessed for the service of God—altars, linens, holy water, etc.
It is used frequently in personal devotions:
In the morning and evening to seek God's help.
Before and after prayer, against distractions.
Before and after meals, asking God's blessing.
In dangers of soul, like temptation and occasions of sin.
In dangers of body like storms, sickness, travel.
Before our chief actions and undertakings, to make them pleasing to God and to obtain God's help in performing them properly.
This holy symbol of our salvation, then, should be frequently used by us. It teaches us our true dignity. It reminds us that we are the brethren of Jesus Christ. In making the sign of the cross we become partakers in the wonderful history of our faith, and companions of the glorious saints of our Church. We are soldiers, and this is our weapon. The cross of our Redeemer has vanquished death, has overthrown the dominion of Satan. Let us, then, re-echo the words of St. Paul: "God forbid that I should glory save in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ."