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Sunday, June 26, 2005

Bridging Heaven and Earth, God and Man

This is probably not original but the notion came up so here goes. To some Catholics, the sign of the cross, aside from invoking the persons of the trinity, and aside from signifying our commitment to love God (forehead: mind, chest: heart, shoulders: strength), also signifies how Christ became the bridge by which we become divine. The vertical line from forehead to chest signifies God coming down to Man by the Incarnation: when God became man. The horizontal line across the shoulders is the Holy Spirit which assists us in the saving action by which man becomes divine. I just got to thinking of this tonight as something else. The horizontal line divides us from God, the gap that was made by original sin. I know that there are many people who find it hard to accept that Jesus Christ could be fully God as much as the Father and Holy Spirit are God. I want to present an argument from necessity. One cannot really accept that Christ saves people and makes them sons and daughters of God unless one also accepts that Jesus Christ is fully God as well as fully Man. How come? Think of that vertical line of the cross as a link between the unreachable Heaven far above the earth. If Jesus was not fully man, then he cannot save us since he is a line that reaches down from Heaven but does not reach all the way down to the earth. Likewise, if Jesus was not fully God, too, then he would not reach all the way up to Heaven to connect us to God. He must be a line that goes from end (God) to end (Man) if he is to save us. Cut off a portion of the bridge, on whichever end, and it ceases to bridge the gap.

2 comments:

MrsDarwin said...

Thanks for the lovely explanation of the sign of the cross. My daughters are just learning how to make the sign of the cross, and it always thrills me to see them trying so carefully to do it just right.

Great blog!

Jeff Tan said...

Thanks! I'm glad it helped. My own experience teaching my kids (my sons are 5, 3 and 2), isn't as smooth as I would like it. My wife's Evangelical, and while she attends Mass with us every Sunday, the farthest she'll go is to say "in the name of the Father.." along with us. Since she won't actually do the sign herself, my kids don't actually make the sign of the cross with me. Still, they do so half the time. In the long run, going to Mass every week and attending a Catholic school will probably rub off. If only it were easier to explain to them why mommy doesn't make the sign with us. The oldest has asked once or twice, and I think I just dodged the question. It is probably time for me to confront that particular question.