Wherever you are, says St. Ephrem the Syrian, seal everything you do with the Sign of the Cross, and teach your children to do the same.
How gracious is the Lord! How measureless are His mercies! Happy the race of mortals when God confesses it! Woe to the soul that he denies! Fire is stored up for its punishment.
Be of good cheer, my child, in hope; sow good seed and do not despair. The farmer sows in hope, and the merchant journeys in hope. You also love good seed; in the hope look for the reward.
Do nothing at all without the beginning of prayer. Seal all your doings, my child, with the sign of the living cross. Do not go out the door of your house till you have signed the cross. Whether in eating or in drinking, whether in sleeping or in waking, whether in your house or on the road, or again in the season of leisure, do not neglect this sign; for there is no guardian like it. It shall be to you as a wall, in the forefront of all your doings. And teach this to your children, that they may pay attention and be conformed to it.
–St. Ephrem the Syrian, Homily on Admonition and Repentance, 17IN GOD’S PRESENCE, CONSIDER . . .
Is the Sign of the Cross a habit with me?
Or am I embarrassed to make a public display of my faith?
Lord Jesus Christ, you freely offered yourself as a sacrifice without blemish on the Cross. Purify me with the sanctifying power of your life-giving Spirit.
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