Q: Why do Catholics make the sign of the cross during Mass?
A: When we “make the sign of the cross” in church we are providing an outward sign of our profession of faith in God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. While we make the sign of the cross at the beginning and at the end of Mass, many of us, also, make the sign of the cross entering the church building and while exiting. The use of holy water accompanies those sacred gestures.
We celebrated the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity last Sunday (June 11).
Every time we make the sign of the cross we are at prayer honoring the blessed Trinity.
When we begin our day we should first make the sign of the cross dedicating the day to the glory of God.
Our faith teaches us the sign of the cross strengthens us in temptations and difficulties.
Q: What religious orders take a vow of poverty?
A: Poverty is one of the three evangelical counsels, the other two being chastity and obedience.
The vow of poverty is a constitutive element of consecrated life, signifying a detachment from worldly things and providing voluntary humility.
The one who takes the vow of poverty directs the gaze of all people on the endless treasures of the kingdom of heaven.
The vow of poverty frees a person from the distractions of this world and gives that person the ability to deepen his or her encounter with Jesus Christ, who was poor for our sake.
Let us not forget how Jesus, in his concern for the poor, called them blessed in the “Beatitudes.”
The detachment from worldly goods reminds us where our priorities lie as fellow Christians.
Q: Why did God create animals?
A: In the Book of Genesis, we read that God created animals, and he called his creations good.
We also read that God entrusted the animals with us, and as we care for creation this includes respecting the interests of God’s creatures.
The animals are here for us, and we are their caretakers.
In his 2015 encyclical letter “Laudato Si’”, Pope Francis instructs us that the care for our common home is both a moral and a spiritual challenge.
In other words, the horizontal relationship between us and neighbor, and creation, affects the vertical relationship between God and us: a call to inner conversion and personal transformation.
St. Francis of Assisi is a perfect example how we care for the animals entrusted us. Sometimes we may wonder why we have mosquitoes, but then we should marvel at the mystery of creation and of all species, of which we continue to discover new ones.
As we prepare to embark into summer may you and your family delve deeper into your faith and recognize God’s loving presence each and every day.