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  • Writer's pictureFr. Tien Cao

The Sign of the Cross is a prayer to the Trinity

​The earliest and easiest prayer that I learned as a little boy was making the Sign of the Cross. My mother was my first teacher who taught me to pray. I remember the joy of being able to make the Sign of the Cross with confidence. Saying the words, 'In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen,' and moving my right hand from my forehead down to my chest and then from my left shoulder to the right shoulder to form the Cross of Christ on my body was an act of prayer and trust in the power of God. When I could make this Sign of the Cross, I felt great and wanted to repeat it again and again. It felt like an amazing accomplishment, and I was proud of myself. Not only me, but also all five of my brothers were taught by my mother to make the Sign of the Cross properly. We would do it together at mealtime, just before having lunch or dinner. Usually, Mom made sure that everyone sat down in a circle for the meal, and then we would make the Sign of the Cross together and pray before anyone was allowed to start eating. Making the Sign of the Cross before and after our prayers and meals is so important. The words and gestures themselves suggest that we belong to God, the Holy Trinity, who invites us to enter into His Trinitarian Communion of constant and endless love. Making the Sign of the Cross is one of the greatest prayers because it unites us to Jesus Christ – in whose name and through the power of the Holy Spirit we utter 'Abba, Father.' As we celebrate this Holy Trinity Sunday, let us make the Sign of the Cross with reverence and thanksgiving for God's salvation through the Cross of Christ. And as parents or grandparents, please take the time and opportunity to teach your children or grandchildren how to make the Sign of the Cross correctly. It is one of the greatest acts of evangelization. Why? Because faith is not hereditary but taught. Fr. Tien Cao

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