How Many Times in Your Life Do You Think You Have Made the Sign of the Cross?
By Father John Slampak, STL

This simple gesture, using the names we have for God as Father, as Son, as Holy Spirit, summarizes the primary ways that God shows himself to us. The sign of the cross is God’s way of showing that God is love.

Some have a wrong impression of God as fearsome, as vindictive. In the old sit-com, Archie Bunker’s God is like that, because Archie creates God in his own image, like himself.

At a dinner scene Archie was insisting that everyone, including the agnostic son-in-law, Mike, “Thank God for this food which comes from Him.” Mike suggests it would be appropriate to ask God to lower His prices. This is blasphemy for Archie who says in anger, “This here is a Christian, God-fearin’ home, and when you’re sittin’ at this table you’re gonna be just as afraid of God as the rest of us!”

What can keep you fearful is sin ... a turn away from God.

It is precisely because of sin that, out of love, God as Father, sent His Son to save us from sin through the power of the Holy Spirit. The sign of the cross reminds us that we are in the circle of God’s love.

The time we live in has been called the “culture of death.” We get caught in a circle, not of love, but of the habit of sin. It is this circle of sin out of which God the Father wants to bring us through his Son, in the Holy Spirit.

St. Paul wrote to the Romans to remember where their strength in faith comes from, “Affliction produces endurance, and endurance, proven character, and proven character, hope, and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.”

For several weeks, attention has turned from focusing on mom to dad. Father’s Day advertisers have been at it, telling us what great gifts dads want, turning wanting into needing, and so missing what’s valuable.

A few years ago, when I was 6 or 7, my brothers and I rode our bikes with my dad to Prince Castle for a malt shake with whipped cream.

I rode on the handle bars of the bike with my dad. Legs stretched out. Straight out.

When we arrived at the Prince Castle, I got off the bike and immediately fell down, flat. My legs had fallen asleep!

Not knowing what happened to my legs, I started to cry while my brothers laughed. I mean, ya’ know!

My dad quickly picked me up, whispering, saying, “Johnny, it’s ok, I love you.” (I got the whipped cream.)

Tell him you love him. Use the words.

He needs to hear them and you need to say them because you do love him.

Dads, tell your kids you love them. Use the words. It’s better than whipped cream.