We do it before we eat. We do it as we walk into the sanctuary. We do it when we genuflect. We start Mass with it. We end Mass with it. We do it three consecutive times before we read the Gospel. We do it when we drive past a Catholic church. We do it before the game, before we go to sleep, and before we travel. In the west we do it with our right hand; in the East they do it with their left. Some do it with three fingers; some kiss it upon its completion. Martyrs did it as they were taken to their death. We are marked with it when we are baptized. You don’t have to be literate to do it because it requires no special knowledge or skill. It is our salute. In nómine Patris et Fílii et Spíritus Sancti. Amen. The sign of the cross. In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
“We raise the hand to the forehead, saying ‘In the name of the Father’ to signify that the Father is the first person of the Most Holy Trinity, of whom the Son is begotten and from whom the Holy Spirit proceeds. Then saying, ‘And the Son,’ the hand is lowered to the breast, to express that the Son proceeds from the Father, who sent him down to the womb of the Virgin. The hand is moved from the left shoulder to the right, while saying, ‘and of the Holy Spirit’, as the third person of the Holy Trinity, proceeds from the Father and the Son, that he is the love that unites both, and that, through his grace, partake of the fruits of the passion. Accordingly the Sign of the Cross is brief declaration of our faith in the Blessed Trinity, in the passion of Christ, and in the forgiveness of sin, by which we pass from the left side of curse to the right side of blessing.”
There is no way of talking about the sign of the cross without talking about the Most Holy Trinity. Most catechists dread talking about this subject, and most priests only preach about it on Trinity Sunday. Why? Because as Saint Augustine says, “If you understand it, it’s not God.” No matter which way I go about this topic I’m sure to be a --heretic.
Once I went to a conference where it's theme was, “God is Love.” I believe that statement is what makes us Christians. A Jew or a Muslim would say God loves. The radical Christian difference is we say God IS Love. And I think that is the best way to explain the Trinity. If you say God is Love, then you have to mean that within the very being of God there is a play between a Lover, the Beloved, and the Love that they share. If God is not a Trinity, God is not love. For love requires three things: a lover, a beloved, and a relationship between them. One being- three persons. In the creed we say “We believe in one God.” That is our Catholic way of saying what the Jews have said for years “Hear, O Israel: the Lord is our God alone.” God is one but we know through the revelation of Jesus Christ that God has to shown himself to be One being three persons. The sender the sent and the love in which the sent was sent. Still think the sign of the cross is simple?