I was recently given ‘A book of saints for Catholic moms’ by Lisa M Hendey by a lovely friend. I’ve been reading it each morning and I recommend it. I love the saints, they are my great friends, I’ve learned so much from their lives and love the tradition of asking them to intercede for us. Speaking of traditions, Have you ever wondered why a Catholic blesses themselves by making the sign of the cross before and after prayers?
Well it’s simple and yet pretty significant.
By marking ourselves with the sign of the cross, we are making a profession of faith. One of the deepest mysteries is that of the blessed trinity. When we use the words, In the name of the Father, the son and the Holy Spirit, we are performing a statement of belief. We are connecting our beings to the cross. One mustn’t be tempted to rush this for it is a prayer in itself.
I bless myself often. Not just before prayers, at meal times before and after grace, in thanksgiving, when I’m nervous, feel panic striken or even when I want to make a phone call and need guidance. Making the sign of the cross give me peace.
I received a phone call recently from our son informing me that he and his sister were in a bad car crash. Immediately my heart began to race. I blessed myself, over and over again. My husband was away and so Jesus stepped in. On the way down to the scene, I repeated the process over and over until I made it to my destination. Though my teeth were chattering from the cold and the shock, I remained calm. One of the attending mothers who cared for my children until I arrived, asked me how I was so calm. I explained to her what I did the whole 40 minutes of driving. I can honestly say, when I bless myself, It helps me to concentrate, to breath slower and deeply, to truly focus on what’s at hand. According to my kids, at the accident scene I was not a happy camper, 🙄😩 but imagine if I hadn’t blessed myself!
You don’t have to be a catholic to learn how to bless yourself. This is how we do it –
Using your right hand, you should touch your forehead at the mention of the Father; the lower middle of your chest at the mention of the Son; and the left shoulder on the word “Holy” and the right shoulder on the word “spirit”.
Try over breakfast tomorrow, spreading some peace by blessing yourself with the sign of the cross before you spread your avocado, you just may find its the perfect start to the day. Not to mention, a favourite blend of tea currently is – passion fruit with a twist of hibiscus by Tetley. It will be a hit the next time you invite your friends over for a cuppa.
Love Leah 🌿