I had always thought that making the sign of the cross was mainly a Catholic practice. But it seems that some Protestants that it is a powerful sacramental and not a superstitious act. Blogger Joe Miller in an interesting post, Bless Yourself (with the sign of the Cross), has some interesting observations.
Growing up, I always understood the sign of the cross to be empty superstition. I am grateful to have learned otherwise since then and use it many times a day in prayer. (I talk about some of the reasons why here.) My old understanding has, however, left me prejudiced—I assume that evangelicals do not use it, let alone prescribe its use to others.
But then there’s Bonhoeffer, taking comfort in signing himself while imprisoned and Luther instructing every Lutheran since his own day to “bless yourself with the holy cross,” as he says in his Small Catechism. Luther actually instructed its use on other occasions as well, not only for morning and evening prayer, but also for baptism and ordination. Read the whole post here.
Did you know that the federal government is determining what Catholic Colleges are, in fact, Catholic and not CINO (Catholic in name only)? Monsignor Pope has the scope in his post Catholic or Consequences: Feds increasingly tell Catholic Entities to Be Authentically Catholic or Lose Religious Exemptions.
It is a fairly detailed examination of the situation. While it is true that too many Catholic Colleges are CINO, it should be the Bishops and not the government should be the ones to make the determination.
It shouldn’t take Pharaoh to tell Abram to go back to Bethel. It shouldn’t take pagan sailors to rouse Jonah to obey God. And it shouldn’t take the Federal Government to tell Catholic Colleges to actually be Catholic. But if that’s what it takes, if God has to shame them into it, so be it . God has a history of drawing Israel to repentance by making use of the nations around them to provoke, shame, and punish them. As Scripture says,
The LORD’s portion is his people, Jacob his allotted inheritance….[Yet] you deserted the Rock, who fathered you; you forgot the God who gave you birth….[The Lord says], for they are a perverse generation, children who are unfaithful. They made me jealous by what is no god and angered me with their worthless idols. [So] I will make them envious by those who are not a people; I will make them angry by a nation that has no understanding. (Deut 32: varia)
Read the whole post here.
Over ten years ago I was attending an RCIA workshop. During one of the breaks, several of the participants were complaining about the fact that their diocese were closing Parishes. I pointed out that one of the reasons that parishes were being consolidated was because of the shortage of Priests.
Most of the workshop attendees were around my age. I mentioned that the reason is that too many Catholic parents do not encourage vocations or ask their child if they might have one. In other words, the problem is us. I was not very popular from there on out.
Robert Miola, has a moving post about his reaction to two of his daughters vocations:
I tried to reason with her: “You are going into a Servants of the Lord novitiate, and that is by definition a time to try things out, to discern. Take it easy and see if it is right for you.” “No,” she told me firmly, “I love passionately and want to give everything now—no holding back.”
“You should use the talents God gave you and the education I paid for,” I respond, all but oblivious to the folly of that coordination. “You can work in a soup kitchen and feed twenty or you can write food-stamp legislation and feed twenty thousand.” She shakes her head and looks at me with amusement and, perhaps, a touch of pity.