Holy Cross Day
14 September is Holy Cross Day.
Making the sign of the cross is reminding ourselves of our total allegiance to that most holy sign of our Christian faith. The sixteenth century Spanish Saint Ignatius of Loyola and founder of the Society of Jesus wrote the following:
To make the sign of the cross we put a hand to the head to indicate God the Father, who proceeds from no one. When we put our hand to the middle it indicates his Son, Our Lord, who proceeds from the Father and who came right down to the womb of the most holy Virgin Mary. When we put our hand to the one side and then to the other, it indicates the Holy Spirit, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. When we join our hands, this indicates that the Three Persons are in true essence.
“I bind unto myself today” the sign of the cross, the holy cross that won for us the freedom and the joy that we have in our Saviour, I bind unto myself today the strong name of the Trinity. Making the sign of the cross is binding ourselves to it, momentarily making ourselves aware of the full awesomeness of what God has achieved in Christ.
I will never forget sitting in the hearse which took the toddler James Bulger to his grave and the streets of Liverpool were lined with people making the sign of the cross as the carriage passed: it is only God, it is only Jesus through his cross, it is only the strong name of the Trinity that can redeem our fragile and stubborn human frailty.
10 September 2017