Tag: sign of the Cross

3 Things To Know About The Sign Of The Cross

3 Things To Know About The Sign Of The Cross

It’s something that Catholics that do instinctively without often thinking about how powerful it actually is: the Sign of the Cross.

In the video below, Father Mike Schmitz talks about the Sign of the Cross and 3 things you may not know about it.

The Sign Of The Cross And The Virgin Mary Saved 33 Chilean Miners From Death

The Sign Of The Cross And The Virgin Mary Saved 33 Chilean Miners From Death

Five years ago on October 13, the 33 miners who became trapped in a Chilean mine were brought to safety.

(CNN)When Chile’s San Jose mine collapsed on August 5, 2010, people around the world were fixated on the fate of the 33 miners trapped 2,300 feet underground.

The miners would end up spending 69 days below the Earth’s surface before rescuers brought them all to safety. As everyone celebrated the rescue of the 33 miners, many pointed to a higher power — a 34th miner — who they say was with them all along.

In the aftermath of the rescue, those involved have recounted seemingly inexplicable miracles during their time underground and credited God with protecting them. God, many of them say, was the 34th miner.

A comforting presence

Jorge Galleguillos, a miner from Copiapo, Chile, recalled making the sign of the cross in front of an image of the Virgin Mary that had been placed near the entrance to the mine. The miners asked her for protection every shift before descending into the lower levels of the mine.
The day of the collapse, like any other day, Galleguillos paid his respects to the Virgin Mary and headed into the mine.
During this particular shift, Galleguillos said he heard warning cracks but continued working. He recalled seeing something like a “white species … a butterfly” falling diagonally in the mine “like a paper.”

It was likely a bit of white quartz, but in local culture, a white animal is a sign that God is present.
As the mine began to rumble and dust filled the air, Galleguillos said he envisioned his 6-day-old grandson in his arms and his mother standing in front of him.
“I am not going to see my mother again. I’m not going to meet my grandson,” he thought.
Galleguillos said he is not particularly religious. Still, even as it seemed the worst was ahead, he said he felt God’s presence.
In the five years since the mine collapse, Galleguillos said he is more thankful than ever.
“There aren’t words to continue thanking God enough,” he told CNN’s Rosa Flores in a recent interview.

A rationing of resources

Alex Vega, a second-generation miner, had been suffering from a gastric ulcer for a couple of months when the miners became trapped.
As always, he had his pills in his backpack. Three of them. He divided them into four parts each so he could take a piece each day.
The fact that there was very little food only made his symptoms worse, and at this point, they had no idea when or if they would be rescued.
The miners ate one can of tuna per day, splitting each can between the 33 of them.
“You have to have faith,” Galleguillos said. “You can never lose your faith. Faith is nourishment … Faith is life.”

Faith, even without hope

Shift foreman Luis Urzua was the first person to be heard once verbal contact was made with the miners. His first words were, “We are well and hoping that you will rescue us.”
Urzua said he doesn’t believe in luck, but he does believe in faith — even when it seems like there is no hope.
“The devil couldn’t do anything because God was present,” he said.
Urzua recounted a time in the mine when one of his colleagues became ill. The prayers of the other miners, Urzua said, healed him.
“We made a prayer, we prayed in front of him,” he said. “The next day, he was better. … He was doing better than all of us.”
That power of prayer stayed with the miners throughout their time underground.
“When we prayed, we didn’t pray to get rescued; we prayed for the people outside not to abandon us,” he said.
It was another answered prayer.

Rescue resumes inexplicably

After weeks of drilling, the rescuers were getting closer to the miners. Then, the drill halted, just feet from reaching the miners. There was no forward or backward motion.
“It’s like, did we come this far and go through all this? And this damn thing is stuck here,” said Richard Soppe, a manager with Center Rock Inc.
Then, without any effort from the rescuers, there was a pop, and it started moving again.
Brandon Fisher, owner of Center Rock, led a team of drilling experts to help free the miners.
“I remember there was a loud bang on the backside of the control panel,” Fisher said. “Everyone just kind of stopped at one point in time and looked around.”

“We still don’t know what that noise was,” he said.
Ariel Ticona, a miner and expectant father at the time, said that when he heard the drill bit break through, he knew “that was by the hand of God that the miracle was done.”
While trapped, Ticona became a father to a baby girl, Esperanza, which means hope.
Jonathan Franklin, author of “33 Men: Inside the Miraculous Survival and Dramatic Rescue of the Chilean Miners,” said Esperanza’s birth was a miracle because she gave hope to the miners. She gave their dream of rescue a face.

Rescuing the miners

Chilean miner Osman Araya is welcomed by his wife, Angelica, after being rescued from the San Jose mine on October 13, 2010.
After much preparation and prayer, the final leg of the rescue began.
Florencio Avalos was the first miner to emerge. He was pulled to the surface in a 22-inch wide capsule.
Celebrations broke out, but the rescuers and miners faced the reality that 32 more miners needed the same miracle to live.
One after the other, they were rescued.
Vega said he hugged and kissed his wife like he was never going to let her go.
Ticona met his new daughter Esperanza in the hospital.

Urzua said God saved all 33 miners for a reason, but he’s been asking himself why since the rescue.
“Today, everywhere we turn, there is misery, hunger, terrible natural events,” Urzua said, speculating about God’s motive to rescue them. “We have to care for our environment, care for our children, so that they have a better life, we give them the best.”

After the rescuers returned home, they studied the science of the rescue.
“These tools should not have been able to bend and go around some of these curves. I mean, there’s no question in my mind that the faith of God, and the faith of the world praying for these guys to get rescued was a huge factor,” Fisher said. “Science, know-how, and will were applied, but at the end of the day, the big guy had everything to do with this rescue being successful. I believe that wholeheartedly.”

credit: thesplendorofthechurch

The Spiritual Power Of The Sign Of The Cross

The Spiritual Power Of The Sign Of The Cross

To some, being Italian-American means overindulging in pasta and joking about tough guys. But being Italian means being heir to a rich tradition stretching back before the Caesars. Included are philosophers like Seneca, poets like Dante, artists such as Michelangelo, and saints like Francis of Assisi.

To some, being Catholic means giving up chocolate for Lent. But those who explore their Catholic heritage discover thousands of years of meaning, insight, and life-giving resources: inspiring stories about people from Abraham to Mother Teresa, practical instruction by some of the most brilliant thinkers of all time, tried and true spiritual practices that make people grow in character and happiness.

In John 10:10, Jesus said: “I came that they may have life, and have it more abundantly.” That recalls Isaiah who, speaking of God’s people, says: “Lo, I will spread prosperity over her like a river, and the wealth of the nations like an overflowing torrent.” (Is 66:10-14, this Sunday’s first reading). The Catholic Church is all about preserving and enjoying the WHOLE, rich heritage of Christ. In fact, the word “Catholic” comes from the Greek word for “whole.” The problem is that some preserve outward practices of this heritage, like giving up something for Lent but have lost the connection with the meaning and power of such customs and traditions.

Take for example the sign of the Cross. For some, it is just a mechanical part of “logging on” and “logging off” of our time “connected” to God via prayer. For others, it seems no more than a superstitious good-luck charm to employ before stepping up to bat.

To see what it really means, we need to examine where it comes from. In baptism, a cross is traced on the foreheads of the baptized. The same occurs in confirmation when the tracing is done with sacred oil called “chrism.” As the signing takes place, the name of the triune God is pronounced – Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

How far back in time does this practice go? Paul says “I bear the brand marks of Jesus in my body.” (Galatians 6:14-18, Sunday’s second reading). Notice that in the book of Revelation, those doomed to death have the mark of the beast on their brow while the 144,000 in white robes have been sealed on the forehead with the name of God and the Lamb (Revelation 7:3-4 and 11:1). Sounds a lot like the sign of the cross, doesn’t it?

In the early Church, the sign of the cross was seen as the brand mark on the body of a Christian that indicated that he or she was now the property of a new master and under the protection of that master. The blood of the lamb on the doorposts of the Israelites protected them from the Angel of Death who “passed over” their homes. The sign of the cross on the Christian says “hands off!” to the power of darkness. Note that Jesus says to his disciples “I have given you the power to tread on snakes and scorpions and all the forces of the enemy, and nothing shall ever injure you” (Luke 10:19). The sign of the cross is the sign of this power.

But this sign means even more than belonging to the triune God. It indicates how and why we’ve come to belong to God and to be entitled to his protection. It means that for my standing with God, I do not trust in the good deeds that I’ve done or the “good person” that I am. Rather, I stake my claim to heaven on what Jesus did for me on Calvary. It means that I am saved by a pure gift of His love, by grace. “May I never boast of anything but the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ!” (Galatians 6:14).

Each time I make this sign, it is a renewal of my “decision for Christ,” my intimate relationship of love with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit which comes as a pure gift of God’s grace through faith, baptism and confirmation. In this simple little sign is contained the very essence of the gospel.

The good news is that everything in the Catholic heritage is like this – full of rich meaning that we’ve forgotten. But not to worry – we can recover the meaning and reactivate the power. Let’s get busy exploring and unpacking the amazing Catholic tradition!

Source: integratedcatholiclife

21 Things That Happen When You Make The Sign Of The Cross

21 Things That Happen When You Make The Sign Of The Cross

The Sign of the Cross is a simple gesture yet a profound expression of faith for both Catholic and Orthodox Christians. As Catholics, it’s something we do when we enter a church, after we receive Communion, before meals, and every time we pray. But what exactly are we doing when we make the Sign of the Cross? Here are 21 things:

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