Living the Sign of the Cross

(Kathie Homsy, a young adult at St. Joseph's Maronite Church in Sydney shares her reflection after attending a retreat afternoon directed by Sister Marla Marie speaking on the theme of: Living the Sign of the Cross.)

After spending an afternoon in spiritual reflection with Sister Marla Marie and other women of virtue, I discovered something simple yet extremely profound… the Sign of the Cross defines who I am. When I cross myself daily and utter the Trinitarian formula, I am identifying myself with the Christian faith and surrendering to God the Father, through the Son, in the Spirit.
When I recall all the times throughout the day that I feel the urge to make the Sign of the Cross – as soon as I wake up, at every meal, upon entering a car, passing a church, before prayer, at bedtime, etc., I realize not only does every aspect of my life connect to the Cross but my life is the Cross. It represents who I am as a person and as a Christian. It is the reason for my existence. It is my purpose in life.
I often tell myself that I am blessed to be carrying a very light cross. There are times when I crave a heavier cross in the hope of drawing closer to Christ’s passion, but then I begin to complain about trivial things that inconvenience me and I convince myself that I do not have the strength to bear my own burdens. Thankfully, Christ bore them for me and freely sacrificed Himself on my behalf. Christ’s Cross and my cross are virtually one and the same.
Christ invites me to join Him at Calvary; to put myself in Simon the Cyrene’s place and lay my hands on the Cross of Life; to comfort Mother Mary at the foot of the Cross while her heart is being pierced by a sword; to stand beside the Beloved Disciple and gaze upon Christ’s scourged body in adoration while His enemies mock Him; to develop the virtue of humility as the good thief did and recognize Christ’s innocence and my sinfulness; to answer Christ’s call and crush His thirst for souls... especially mine.
I wholeheartedly accept Christ’s invitation to become one with the Cross. Denying myself, taking up my cross and following Christ has become my desire and objective in life. I am learning to die to myself, embrace the cross with a look of love and enter into true discipleship with Christ. The Cross is everything and without the Cross I am nothing. Nowadays, whenever I perform the ritual and recite the powerful prayer that is the Sign of the Cross, I can confidently echo the famous sentiments of Constantine and Saint Paul, “In this sign I shall conquer” because “I no longer live but it is Christ Who lives in me.”