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Friday, August 28, 1998

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St. Augustine

1 Corinthians 1:17-25
Psalm 33
Matthew 25:1-13

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how to make the sign of the cross

"The message of the cross is complete absurdity to those who are headed for ruin, but to us who are experiencing salvation it is the power of God." —1 Corinthians 1:18

Many of you make the sign of the cross with your hands several times a day. Do you make the sign of the cross with your lives each day? (see Lk 9:23) If someone observed today your actions, relationships, decisions, work, and prayer, would they see the Lord clearly etching the cross on your day and body through your self-sacrifice and self-dying? If someone observed your daily life, would he see you ignoring the cross or even running from it? If so, he would probably conclude that you considered the cross "a stumbling block" and "an absurdity" (1 Cor 1:23). Would an outsider looking into your life get the message that you believe Christ crucified to be "the Power of God and the Wisdom of God"? (1 Cor 1:24)

To make the sign of the cross on our lives and not only on our bodies, we must deny our very selves (Lk 9:23) and crucify the "flesh with its passions and desires" (Gal 5:24). We must discipline our bodies and master them (1 Cor 9:27), and live no longer for ourselves but for the Lord (2 Cor 5:15).

Begin the day by making the sign of the cross. Then use the circumstances of the day to make a day-long, life-long, everlasting sign of the cross. Finally, end the day by making a sign of the cross, declaring through your daily life the cross as the way of life.

Prayer:  Father, turn my signs of the cross into a way of the cross.

Promise:  "Keep your eyes open, for you know not the day or the hour." —Mt 25:13

Praise:  St. Augustine, a noted intellectual and critic of the faith, lived a life-style of fornication for years and fathered a child out of wedlock. He repented deeply, renounced the pleasures of the flesh, and put on the holiness and victory of Christ.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert J. Buschmiller, February 17, 1998

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, March 25, 1998