Tuesday, December 13, 2011
The Sign of the Cross (with "The Vortex")
Michael Voris has a wonderful commentary on the sign of the Cross that illustrates precisely the importance of the sacramental words and gestures of the Mass. (See the video below; it’s a powerful 5-minute theology lesson.)
Review: What is a sacrament? “An outward sign, instituted by Christ, to give grace.” The words of the liturgy carry a reality: Christ. The ultimate reality of the Mass is Jesus himself. Jesus is not only the Son of the Father, but is his Word.
So, the words of the liturgy are sacramental. When the Church uses certain words, She expects certain images to be evoked from Scripture. For instance, if we hear “water” in the liturgy, we should immediately be thinking about baptism; about the blood and water flowing from the side of Jesus; about the crossing of the Red Sea; about Moses striking the stone with his staff so that water would gush out; the “living water”; and so on. When the Church uses the word “sin” in our prayers, She really does want us to think about our sin – not about the fact that, hey, nobody’s perfect and God will forgive us anyway. No: She means sin. That’s why we are to strike our breast at the words “through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault” – we’re supposed to really be grieved by our sins! And, incidently, when the Church repeats words or phrases, it’s for a reason! It means they are important! That’s why we repeat “through my fault” three times. That’s why in the older form of the Mass, we repeat the “Domine, non sum dignus” (“Lord, I am not worthy…”) three times.
The gestures we make are sacramental, too; they signify something: kneeling, standing, genuflecting – they all say something about what is taking place in the Mass at the time we make those gestures. We take much for granted about the signs of our faith! Mr. Voris explains about the sign of the Cross:
This simple gesture encapsulates ALL of salvation history. And yet we Catholics do this
with rarely giving a thought to the almost indescribable truth and reality behind it.
Consider this for a moment. When we both trace the sign of the sign of the cross on our
bodies and call on the Blessed Trinity, we physically - with body and speech - sum up the
essential Eternal Truth that Almighty God is a relationship between three Divine
Persons – Father, Son, and Spirit. That at the heart of God is a community and that we are called into HIS internal life - His internal Eternal life - through the action of the Second Person on the cross.
When Our Blessed Lord says, “No one comes to the Father except through me”, He
ALSO means no one comes to Him except through the cross. Matthew’s gospel records
this explicit truth of Jesus: “Take up your cross and follow Me.” Follow Him where? Well…to Calvary and death certainly. But after that… INTO the relationship of love, of total self-giving and total outpouring that IS God. When John tells us that God IS Love, he is speaking of this relationship between Father Son and Spirit.
There’s more! Watch the whole thing right here: