sign of the cross


#1

I know that this is slightly a rant, and it can be deleted if proven to be too wayward from the Catholic faith, but…

I love gestures in the Catholic church. I love genuflecting, and making the sign of the cross in church, and I do it slowly, cherishing the moment, because of the many underlying analogies associated with the action.

I love especially the sign of the cross. It is the simple act of blessing one’s self, showing respect of the cross, the awareness of the trinity, and the summarisation of the faith (God [In nomine Patris] came down as Jesus on earth, [et Filii] died into she’ol [et Spiritus] and rose to the right hand of the Father! [sancti, Amen]).

But when I see it in church, especially in the teenagers who take the Eucharist, they cross themselves quickly and then go to their seat. Some of them don’t even complete the action, or hurriedly do it. Entering church, in prayers (as I participate in our church community), that simple gesture is so dear to me, to see it abused by Catholic individuals who come to church to show respect for the Lord makes me so angry. I’m just plain disgusted by their callow behaviour in exemplifying Catholic virtue of humility and sacredness. To me, it’s abuse, it’s sacrilege!!

Am I being too harsh on my criticism? Or are there other individuals who feel similar to me? What CAN I do to help this? :frowning:


#2

You’re a great example!! I myself am haste when im genuflecting and doing the sign of cross, you just woke me up!! Thanks.

I realise JESUS is the KING of KINGS so it is our duty to have the upmost reverence for Him.


#3

I do really agree with you, Silverwings.

However, in the case of teenagers, I’m starting to think we could cut them a little slack, because I’m remembering how self-conscious I felt as a teenager, (so many years ago:)) and I don’t think they are any different today. There’s all that immense pressure not to look stupid or too pious in front of their peers, and it takes more maturity than they have, perhaps, to resist it (though there are many exceptions, of course).

For adults, well, ideally we should indeed express the reverence you describe so well, at all times, but I guess we can be distracted easily, and we can become so accustomed to the gestures of reverence, especially if we’ve made them all our lives, that we do them only half consciously at times.

We need to keep reminding ourselves what we are doing and in whose Presence we are!


#4

[quote=ATeNumquam]I do really agree with you, Silverwings.

However, in the case of teenagers, I’m starting to think we could cut them a little slack, because I’m remembering how self-conscious I felt as a teenager, (so many years ago:)) and I don’t think they are any different today. There’s all that immense pressure not to look stupid or too pious in front of their peers, and it takes more maturity than they have, perhaps, to resist it (though there are many exceptions, of course).

For adults, well, ideally we should indeed express the reverence you describe so well, at all times, but I guess we can be distracted easily, and we can become so accustomed to the gestures of reverence, especially if we’ve made them all our lives, that we do them only half consciously at times.

We need to keep reminding ourselves what we are doing and in whose Presence we are!
[/quote]

You are right! :slight_smile: But me as a teenager myself (YEY 16!), I just think that a little reverence from another one in my age group would really show me that there is still hope in my generation, lol.

I fear that Catholicism is becoming one of those “Yeah, I’m Catholic, no I don’t believe in [insert doctrine here]” kinds of things. Out of the people I know and all the teens at my parish, only one of them truly loves the Faith, and she’s already in her 19 or 20’s.

Yes, I do realise that with teens as well to cut them some slack, as I do get a little more uspet with adults because I expect them to be examples in the parish (not to put any pressure on you guys :p), ESP. when after receiving the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ.

It was whilst I was done praying and looking towards the people to see them be in contemplation when I began to saw such… behaviour. sigh


#5

[quote=DEESYPAL]You’re a great example!! I myself am haste when im genuflecting and doing the sign of cross, you just woke me up!! Thanks.

I realise JESUS is the KING of KINGS so it is our duty to have the upmost reverence for Him.
[/quote]

AMEN and ALLELUIA!! No problem, but also thank God I reverted back to the Truth :wink:

And you are right! He IS to be worshipped at King of kings and Lord of lords! :slight_smile:


#6

[quote=silverwings_88] I love especially the sign of the cross. It is the simple act of blessing one’s self, showing respect of the cross, the awareness of the trinity, and the summarisation of the faith (God [In nomine Patris] came down as Jesus on earth, [et Filii] died into she’ol [et Spiritus] and rose to the right hand of the Father! [sancti, Amen]).

But when I see it in church, especially in the teenagers who take the Eucharist, they cross themselves quickly and then go to their seat. Some of them don’t even complete the action, or hurriedly do it. Entering church, in prayers (as I participate in our church community), that simple gesture is so dear to me, to see it abused by Catholic individuals who come to church to show respect for the Lord makes me so angry. I’m just plain disgusted by their callow behaviour in exemplifying Catholic virtue of humility and sacredness. To me, it’s abuse, it’s sacrilege!!

Am I being too harsh on my criticism? :frowning:
[/quote]

No, not at all. You are of course absolutely right. But I guess sloppiness is making the Sign of the Cross is just part of the larger sloppiness which has infected society since the sixties - sloppiness in dress, in language, in manners, and in behavior generally. It’s largely promoted by the media. Things are made to seem cool, hip, fashionable, and sure enough the sheeple pick up on this.


#7

Thank God for your faith and awareness of the importance of the sign of the cross that helps you to make it with such reverence! That truly is a blessing.

I myself have a special place in my heart for the Our Father. Some people seem to want to rush through the words without contemplating them. I feel like I’m listening to an auctioneer.

That said, I understand that my love for the Our Father is one way my faith manifests itself. It is different for every person, and some people might not show their faith on the outside at all. We just have no way of knowing what’s going on inside, and it’s likely that something is going on or they wouldn’t come to Mass at all.

God bless.


#8

[quote=silverwings_88I know that this is slightly a rant, and it can be deleted if proven to be too wayward from the Catholic faith, but…] came down as Jesus on earth, [et Filii] died into she’ol [et Spiritus] and rose to the right hand of the Father! [sancti, Amen]).

But when I see it in church, especially in the teenagers who take the Eucharist, they cross themselves quickly and then go to their seat. Some of them don’t even complete the action, or hurriedly do it. Entering church, in prayers (as I participate in our church community), that simple gesture is so dear to me, to see it abused by Catholic individuals who come to church to show respect for the Lord makes me so angry. I’m just plain disgusted by their callow behaviour in exemplifying Catholic virtue of humility and sacredness. To me, it’s abuse, it’s sacrilege!!

Am I being too harsh on my criticism? Or are there other individuals who feel similar to me? What CAN I do to help this? :frowning:
[/quote]

This reminds me of a letter a wise kindergarten is reported to have sent home to parents at the beginning of each school year:

Dear Parents,

If you promise not to believe everything your child tells you about our school, I’ll promise not to believe everything your child tells me about your home.

If you would not want other people to harshly judge your own behavior when you make the Sign of the Cross, it is only fair that we should try to avoid judging others as they make theirs. I think you know that descriptions like callow, abuse and sacrilege are probably not warranted any more than someone observing you making the Sign of the Cross in a slow, deliberate manner would be in judging you as being holier-than-thou or pharisaic.

As you are asking for advice, I would suggest that unless these are your own children or children for whose behavior you are in some way responsible, such as your students, that you not look at them when they make the Sign of the Cross if this bothers you.

I understand why this bothers you, though. Similar things bother me, and it took hearing the perceptions of other such people to show me that my perfect behavior :wink: could possibly be misconstrued by others.


#9

It is important to be reverent. It is also important not to be judgemental. Many people are ignorant. I had to learn a great deal on my own because of the lack of direction in RCIA. Someone trying to please God but not properly doing gestures of reverence may please God more than somebody who appears to be pious but legalistically judges the other.


#10

[quote=Joseph Bilodeau]This reminds me of a letter a wise kindergarten is reported to have sent home to parents at the beginning of each school year:

Dear Parents,

If you promise not to believe everything your child tells you about our school, I’ll promise not to believe everything your child tells me about your home.

If you would not want other people to harshly judge your own behavior when you make the Sign of the Cross, it is only fair that we should try to avoid judging others as they make theirs. I think you know that descriptions like callow, abuse and sacrilege are probably not warranted any more than someone observing you making the Sign of the Cross in a slow, deliberate manner would be in judging you as being holier-than-thou or pharisaic.

As you are asking for advice, I would suggest that unless these are your own children or children for whose behavior you are in some way responsible, such as your students, that you not look at them when they make the Sign of the Cross if this bothers you.

I understand why this bothers you, though. Similar things bother me, and it took hearing the perceptions of other such people to show me that my perfect behavior :wink: could possibly be misconstrued by others.
[/quote]

Amen! Thanks :slight_smile: I just find that in any religion, such as this is important, and I’m sure that there are individuals like that in other religions and denominations. I would hate to be judged as pharisaic, but it’s hard not to judge when I don’t even like the Novus Ordo in comparison to the TLM…

But sometimes, I do find one individual who inspires me. The mass last Sunday, there was a woman wearing a mantilla (yet no other woman wore such). You don’t know how much grace God has put in me by that.

I was just really… ugh, because it was done right after the Eucharist, I’m sure you would know how disappointed I felt though.


#11

[quote=silverwings_88]What CAN I do to help this? :frowning:
[/quote]

Continue setting a good example. If possible strike a conversation with them and tell them the importance of making the sign of the cross. You may want to pick up Bert Gezzi’s book titled Sign of the Cross. Parents must step up to the plate and begin to realize that the home is the foundation for learning the faith. As a parent myself, I have to constantly remind my children (including myself at times) that we must do everything with our hearts. In my explanations of the sign of the cross I have found it to be a great opportunity to dive deep into the mystery of the trinity.

Preach the Gospel always and use words when necessary - St. Francis of Assisi.


#12

I thank you for I (a teenager myself) had no idea what I have been doing and now that I am aware of it I will be sure to savor the moment! Thank you so much!

God bless you
-RoBo_Hobo


#13

The reality of your criticism is not harsh, but with the modern teenagers, I would be forthright but careful as most have no idea what they are abusing, but do not be afraid to Lovingly remind, or in most cases, teach for the first time the necessity of reverence. Remember that reverence reflects the individual’s interior life. Thanks and God Bless.


#14

Silver I agree with you.

Seems since Vat 2 and the influx of prots into the church we are on a run away train.

In the past 20 years Ive witnessed in Mass top 40s Christian music loud rock n roll style music kids runing up to the alter during concencration
people doing the orans posture, grabing out for your hand during the Our father.Not even a simple bow before you accept Christ.

Your more like an “outsider” when actually following the rules of Mass than you would if you went along with everone else these days.


#15

[quote=Zosimus]Silver I agree with you.

Seems since Vat 2 and the influx of prots into the church we are on a run away train.

In the past 20 years Ive witnessed in Mass top 40s Christian music loud rock n roll style music kids runing up to the alter during concencration
people doing the orans posture, grabing out for your hand during the Our father.Not even a simple bow before you accept Christ.

Your more like an “outsider” when actually following the rules of Mass than you would if you went along with everone else these days.
[/quote]

Thank you all for your advice… I should really join my youth group at our church; it seems to me that from robo_hobo, I have really not thought of joining the youth group, even though we barely have any youth… who knows, maybe those teens can teach me something as well from God. We all are supposed to help each other, no matter how young and old, and I hope they will learn from me as I will from them! :slight_smile:

It just seemed to me that the Eucharist be treated less like a work area where people get their cards stamped and leave quickly… I guess that’s where my disappointment came from. sigh

(btw, I really don’t see the problem with holding hands during the Pater, despite personal space invasion, lol. I think it really does show a sense of community, and I don’t see what harm this ‘abuse’ causes… but that’s another thread! If it was grabbing tho, I wouldn’t even try to hold the other person!)


#16

i have just recently been confirmed, and it took a lot to get there too. I been about nine years behind in all this Catholic training. I do believe many teens like me are not sincere when they witness the concecration or take the Eucharist. personally, i fold my hands neatly and let the priest give me the Host. even dress at mass is horrific. mini skirts and spaghetti straps are for hookers, not the children of God–especially not in his Church whee you **know **He’s there. I went off on a tangent, sorry. But i even see some people run into the pew (genuflect of course) and make three signs and get back up and greet Father just before he makes it down the aisle. It even hurts when I go to my private school (there are only four Catholics in all K-12) and my teachers make the sign when there are joking.

:gopray: I may not pray what i should after i receive the Host, but I make sure I let my Jesus know that it grieves me to see people receive him unworthily and ungratefully–maybe even unknowingly.

Thank you for your stong example. Your complaint was an eye opener.


#17

i have just recently been confirmed, and it took a lot to get there too. I been about nine years behind in all this Catholic training. I do believe many teens like me are not sincere when they witness the concecration or take the Eucharist. personally, i fold my hands neatly and let the priest give me the Host. even dress at mass is horrific. mini skirts and spaghetti straps are for hookers, not the children of God–especially not in his Church where you **know **He’s there. I went off on a tangent, sorry. But i even see some people run into the pew (genuflect of course) and make three signs and get back up and greet Father just before he makes it down the aisle. It even hurts when I go to my private school (there are only four Catholics in all K-12) and my teachers make the sign when they are joking.

:gopray: I may not pray what i should after i receive the Host, but I make sure I let my Jesus know that it grieves me to see people receive him unworthily and ungratefully–maybe even unknowingly.

Thank you for your stong example. Your complaint was an eye opener.


#18

Silver,
You are absolutely correct. I have noticed the rushed way people cross themselves (if they do it at all). After communion especially.

I love the slow, reverent sign of the cross. I do it and hopefully we together can influence others. We need to be Our Lords silent witnessess.

There is nothing wrong with Holy Boldness. Sometimes people are not aware and maybe a glance at some of us will remind them to be aware of the power of the cross.

“Lord, I am not worthy to receive you. But only say the word and I shall be healed.”


#19

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