By Nna Anulumadu
The chief shepherd of the Onitsha Archdiocese, the Most Rev. Valerian Okeke, recently urged Christians to always do the sign of the cross as that is a way of blessing ourselves.
According to him, the sign of the cross is a Christian response to the mystery of human suffering. “When we sign ourselves with the cross, it means we are open to the solution it proffers and the commitment it demands. The early Christians used the sign of the cross as an ancient weapon against suffering. It is a recognition and acceptance of what the Lord Jesus did on the Cross of Calvary,” said the archbishop.
“B. Ghezzi rightly says, ‘Making the sign of the cross proclaims our yes to this condition of discipleship. When we sign ourselves, we are taking up our cross and accepting whatever suffering that comes to us. With that ancient gesture, we are saying that we welcome our suffering in God’s terms.
“‘Though we would rather not endure pain, we are subordinating our wills to God, just as Jesus subordinated his will to his Father when he gave himself to the Cross. So tracing Christ’s Cross over our bodies is a serious matter. We must never to it casually’ (Bert Ghezzi, ‘The Sign of the Cross’, pg 58).”
The archbishop further explained that whenever we make the sign of the cross, we are in dialogue with God. The sign of the cross is a full prayer and a complete human act expressing communion and communication with God.