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Dec 14

Receiving the Cross

I am now a sponsor in the combined St. Paul’s/Oratory RCIA class. On
Sunday, our class participated in the Combined Rite of Acceptance and
Welcoming. It is one of my favorite ceremonies. For those who are
unfamiliar with this rite, in particular my Protestant readers, I
reproduce some of it here.

  • Receive the sign of the cross on your forehead as a reminder of
    your baptism into Christ’s saving death and resurrection.
  • Receive the sign of the cross on your ears, that you may hear
    the voice of the Lord.
  • Receive the sign of the cross on your eyes, that you may see the
    glory of God.
  • Receive the sign of the cross on your lips, that you may respond
    to the word of God.
  • Receive the sign of the cross over your heart, that Christ may
    dwell there by faith.
  • Receive the sign of the cross on your shoulders, that you may
    bear the gentle yoke of Christ.
  • Receive the sign of the cross on your hands, that Christ may be
    known in the work which you do.
  • Receive the sign of the cross on your feet, that you may walk in
    the way of Christ.

Isn’t that powerful and inspiring? For me, it’s like a renewal of
baptismal vows, but better. It’s a vivid reminder of what we are to do
with our lives. We must remember the Lord in all we do, listen for His
still, small voice, behold His glory, praise Him with our lips, enthrone
Christ in our hearts, take up our crosses daily, participate obediently
in His creation, and follow Him.

“And he said to all, ‘If any man would come after me, let him deny
himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. Take my yoke upon
you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will
find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is
light.'” – Luke 9:23 and Matthew 11:29-30

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