One day while on a walk with me, Lucas, age 5, heard a siren far off in the distance. He turned quickly to me, making the sign of the cross.
“MOMMY!” he yelled, “Cross yourself!”
My husband and I have been in the long-time habit of crossing ourselves when we hear emergency vehicles. Our kids, when they came of age to notice such things, used to ask us why we crossed ourselves at the sound of the sirens. We explained that as we crossed ourselves we were praying for whoever was in need at that moment, and for the people urgently trying to help them.
But now when we forget, they scold us.
This is good.
Our children are now our allies in remembering these opportunities to pray for those in need. A siren becomes a temporal icon, turning our hearts towards Him. It cultivates the habit of calling on God.