I have three-plus chapters to read for homework tonight, so I’m not going to get deeply theological. But while I was on retreat last week, something occurred to me. I wonder if you’ve noticed it, or done something with it.
You start a meeting with a prayer. Or maybe it’s a personal endeavor or something. You sign yourself with the cross. Then say the prayer. Then sign again. Then unsquint your eyes and look up.
Has anyone ever thought about eliminating that second signation? I didn’t do it after the opening prayer of the meetings with my spiritual director. I was thinking, “I’m going to lay bare my spiritual experiences of the past twenty-four hours. Is that not prayer? Akin to prayer? Something spiritual? And don’t I still need to be under the sign of my savior?”
And I thought a little more about it and shelved it for post-retreat. Have I been using the sign of the cross as sort of an on-off switch? Do I have to flick to “off” before getting to last meeting’s minutes, or the class content, or having a talk with the young miss? I don’t think so.
I think I’m going to leave off that last bookend everywhere except for the final blessing at Mass. I’m going to treat my meeting, my class, and my chat with a daughter as part of a prayer “under” the sign of a still-switched-on cross.