Making the Sign of the Cross is absolutely ancient, rooted not only in the Old Testament but the New.

The Catholic Sign of the Cross is absolutely ancient, rooted not only in the Old Testament but the New (Apocalypse speaks of those who have the sign of God in their foreheads — and those who have the sign of the Beast in their foreheads).

When Catholics undergo the Sacrament of Confirmation, the Bishop (sometimes a priest) seals the sign on our foreheads with holy chrism. St. John of Damascus wrote:

This was given to us as a sign on our forehead,
just as the circumcision was given to Israel:
for by it we believers are separated and distinguished from unbelievers.

Crossing one’s self recalls this seal, and the invocation that is said while making this holy sign calls on our God — the Father, His Son, and the Holy Ghost — and is a sign of our of belief; it is both a “mini-creed” that asserts our belief in the Triune God, and a prayer that invokes Him.

The use of holy water when making this sign, such as we do when we enter a church, also recalls our Baptism and should bring to mind that we are born again of water and Spirit, thanks be to God.

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Submitted by Doria2

Heroic Virtue: The Essence of Holiness and a fruit of God’s Grace

 Crucifixion of St. Peter

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Excerpts from the recent remarks of Archbishop Angelo Amato about heroic virtue and the holiness of the Saints:

The original source of the holiness of the Church (and holiness in the Church) is the Triune God.

Heroic virtue is recognizable, first of all, by its frequency, its promptness, the joyful character of virtuous activity; and secondly, by the fact that amidst complicated obstacles, formed by external or internal circumstances, these are overcome in such a way that the virtuous hero can be considered capable of great sacrifices for the Gospel in the total abnegation of self.

In heroic virtue, Christ becomes visible again in our midst and the saint becomes the mirror of Christ. The saints, moreover, are true operators of the enculturation of the Gospel, not through theories elaborated at a desk, but rather by living and manifesting the sequela Christi (the following of Christ) in their own culture.

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Additional details:

Holiness is something we have in Christ. Without Jesus Christ, it would be impossible for anyone to be holy, to do anything meritorious (in the eyes of God) or to attain Heaven.

The purpose of every Catholic Sacrament, each of the seven instituted personally by Jesus Christ, is to freely and abundantly dispense the supernatural grace that has the divine power to transform, and to make us holy.

The Catholic Church, also personally instituted by Jesus Christ, remains the universal sacrament of salvation in the world, not because of anything we do, but according to what God has already done for us. In perfect union with God, the Catholic Church is inseparable from Jesus, who is “The Way, the Truth, and the Life”.

Receiving the sacraments while refusing to do the work which they (in Christ) empower (and inspire) is being no different than the wicked, lazy, and foolish servant who buried his talent in the ground, reaping nothing but wrath and perdition, for his reward.

Hence, the true path to holiness in Christ can always be found through our constant, faithful and charitable participation in all of the authentic work, worship, sacraments and devotions of the Catholic Church.

There is no other way.

Is belief in the Holy Trinity essential for Christians?

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Q: Is belief in the Holy Trinity essential for Christians?

A: The existence of the triune God as three divine and distinct persons in one, true God was revealed to the apostles by Jesus Christ and confirmed by the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost.

The Trinity doctrine of the Catholic Church predates the Bible by some 350 years, and is not dependent on scripture at all, although knowing the doctrine, it is quite simple to find biblical support for it.

Only the descriptive term “Trinity” took some time to be agreed upon by the Church. Otherwise, personal knowledge of the triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit … has always been essential to the authentic Christian faith.

http://ccc.scborromeo.org.master.com/tex…