Sunday, August 4, 2013
Book Review: The Sign of the Cross
I spent a few months engulfed in St. Francis De Sales Introduction to the Devout Life not too long ago and I was struck at how well his writing resonated with me. I found him incredibly easy to read when compared to St. Ignatius Loyola or St. Augustine and his approach seems very down to earth and approachable. When I was presented with an opportunity to read his apologetic treatise The Sign of the Cross I was eager to read it.
St. Francis De Sales penned The Sign of the Cross in an attempt to bring the Calvinists back to the Church. His treatise is a response to the Calvinist Antoine de la Faye. In this book, St. Francis beautifully explains the origins of the Sign of the Cross and defends the practice of this powerful prayer. His explanation is such that you can't read this book without coming away with a deeper appreciation for this incredibly powerful prayer that I'm sure many of us take for granted as something that we just do as Catholics.
As a convert to Catholicism, I think this book is an amazing apologetic work. Protestants don't make the Sign of the Cross when they pray. And just like the Calvinists that St. Francis addresses in this treatise, many modern day protestants put forth the same arguments they did. St. Francis beautifully lays it out there and explains the importance of this prayer in a way that I'm sure still has the power to draw our separated Christian brethren to the Catholic Church. Throughout the book he references several of the church Fathers. He masterfully weaves quotes from the likes of St. Augustine and St John Chrysostom to further bolster his defense of the Sign of the Cross.
This book absolutely gets my recommendation. Once I started reading it I didn't want to put it down. Its a book that I'm sure I'll come back to again and again.
This review was written as part of the Catholic book reviewer program from The Catholic Company. I was provided with a review copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on The Sign of the Cross. The Catholic Company is the best resource for all your seasonal needs such as First Communion gifts as well as ideas and gifts for the special papal Year of Faith.