Saturday, 21 January 2012

Signed with the Cross

This morning I was at the parish RCIA meeting, called "Exploring Catholicism", for those who are considering becoming Catholic Christians. The priest led the rite of acceptance into the neocatechumenate for those who are not baptised - basically this means that they are showing a desire to let Christ into their lives, and more importantly they are receiving grace through the rite to do so. Those who are neocatechumens have "baptism by desire", and are in a certain relationship to the Church, even though they are not yet sacramentally baptised.

The rite of acceptance is very rich in symbolism. First the priest made the sign of the cross on each aspiring catechumen, so that they might know and follow Christ. Then he asked the sponsors to make the sign of the cross on the ears, that the aspirant might hear Christ's word; on the eyes, that they might see the glory of God; on the lips, that they might respond to the word of God; on the heart, that Christ might dwell there by faith; on the shoulders that they might bear the gentle yoke of Christ; on the hands, that they might manifest Christ in their work; and on the feet, that they might walk in the way of Christ.

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