Professor Lori Wolf
Feb 11, 2013
Catholic Symbols We live in a world full of signs, and they each portray their own meanings. There are many symbols throughout our cultures that are recognizable to other cultures. Every culture has its own symbols or signs with different experiences and perceptions. In fact, a symbol is the basic element a culture. A symbol is a reminder of something that has been known to us. In Mexico or in many other Catholic cultures, some of these symbols can be in the language, the arts, the beliefs, the cuisine, and the traditions. It can also be anything such as words on the page, drawings, pictures, and gestures. Some of them may even have the same meaning in more than one culture. Indeed, these symbols are an important part of a culture, and we can find them everywhere in Catholicism. Today in the 21st century the crucifix, the sacred heart, and the fish are three most common catholic symbols in my culture.
Beginning with the crucifix, it is the most common of all catholic symbols. It is a principal symbol for many groups of Christians. In most places around the world, the crucifix is known as the sign of the cross. It is the figure of the body of Jesus Christ crucified on a cross. Catholics make the sign of the cross by using their right hand to touch the forehead, the middle of the breast, the left shoulder, and finally the right shoulder. In addition, the crucifix is a symbol of sacrifice. In religion, for example, the cross is a symbol of the redemption of Christ. This gesture is used when the church celebrates the Holy Eucharist in other words, during mass. The sign of the cross is also used in the Rite of Baptism, which is traced by celebrant, parents, or godparents. “Jesus used the symbol of the healing snake as representing his crucifixion and resurrection which heals us from death and sin.” This is a simple gesture that Catholics make thousands of times in their lives, but most of them do not realize the deep meaning of this symbol. We make the Sign of the Cross to show that we are Christians and to profess our belief in the main mysteries of our faith. I believe in this symbol and I have always used it. “This practice is not commanded by a formal law of scripture, but tradition has taught it, custom confirms it, and faith observes it”, says Tertullian A.D. 211. People who practice the sign of the cross casually intake the Holy Spirit to replenish from negativity, and they value themselves as faithful servants of god.
Another symbol, the Sacred Heart refers to Jesus the Son of God. In fact, it is a symbol of the love of Jesus for all of us. We know that his love for us is deep and eternal. Moreover, it is also a reminder that he wants us to love him. It takes the form like a heart shape with a cross on top and thorns twisted around the center of the heart. As in most pictures of Jesus and the Sacred Heart, in which he is seen holding his right hand as though he is blessing someone, and the other hand is placed on his heart. The sacred heart symbolizes the love that is God, hence the