Monday, February 23, 2015

Signs of Life (Image Books)

The Catholic (and Orthodox) Church have a long history that stretches all the way back to the time of Christ and His Apostles. In that history, we have developed traditions, customs, devotions, and practices. Dr. Scott Hahn penned a book entitled Signs of Life in which he looks at forty of these traditions and their Scriptural roots. These forty "signs of life" are divided into nine categories: 1. Life Begins, 2. Life Times, 3. A Day in the Life, 4. Life Lessons, 5. Stages of Life, 6. Spice of Life, 7. Abundant Life 8. Love of My Life, and 9. Life Goes On. In "Life Begins," you will find some of the basics of the Faith, like the Sign of the Cross and Baptism. "Stages of Life" contains signs such as Confirmation, Marriage, Holy Orders, and Anointing of the Sick. You get the idea.

Each sign/chapter is four to six pages long and is chock full of Scripture, history, and teachings of the saints as it relates to the particular sign. Each chapter then closes with a section called "Ponder in Your Heart." In this closing section, we are provided with a long quote from a Church Father (such as St. Jerome), saint (such as St. Teresa of Avila), or theologian (such Romano Guardini) that further crystallizes the meaning and beauty of the particular "sign of life." Part 3 - A Day in the Life was very insightful for me, because the day to day aspects of life is where I get distracted or often feel like a failure, like I could be doing more and should be doing more. In this section, Dr. Hahn discusses discusses posture (like at Mass or in daily prayer), explained and recommended the practice of making a Morning Offering, and discussed other prayers like the Angelus and Grace Before Meals. These all seem like very simple things to do, which they are, Making ourselves do these to develop a spiritual discipline is the hard part.

Whether you are a lifelong Catholic or a new Catholic, you can benefit from reading this book. In fact, given the amount of topics in the book (40), you could make this a Lenten reading either this year or next if you already have a book this Lent. In fact, if you know someone or are sponsoring someone going through the RCIA process, this would be the perfect gift for them either after they are Catholic or for them to read through Lent all the way up to their journey at the Easter Vigil and initiation into the Church. I highly recommend this book!

This book was provided to me for free by Image Books in exchange for an honest review. If you found this review helpful, please click here and hit Yes!