“In Christ, all things of the earth become signposts pointing us to God. The things of the earth are not to be despised, but rather sanctified raised up, made holy by holy use.” – Scott Hahn, p. 12
Scott Hahn is one of my favorite Catholic writers. His books are inspiring and educational, and Signs of Life: 40 Catholic Customs and Their Biblical Roots is nothing short of amazing.
This book is broken down into 40 short devotional sections. They range from Baptism to the Sign of the Cross, and from Bible Study to Incense. Each chapter has a reflection on this aspect of the Catholic faith, the origins of the tradition, and Bible verses to further explain the custom. Additionally, each chapter has a short “Ponder in Your Heart” passage typically from a saint, pope, or revered Catholic figure. Because of this, each of the 40 customs serves as a mini reflection steeped in Catholic tradition. This book is a wonderful read for those just beginning to enter into the Catholic faith as well as those hoping to better understand the Catholic tradition. As with so many of Hahn’s books, this is nothing short of exceptional and is an absolute joy to read.
Book Group Questions:
1. How does understanding the traditions of the Catholic church enlighten your practice of faith?
2. Which of the Catholic customs was most exciting for you to explore? Why?
3. Hahn, quoting St. Epiphanius, writes: “The acquisition of Christian books is necessary for those who can use them. For the mere sight of these books renders us less inclined to sin, and incites us to believe more firmly in righteousness” (p. 118)What sort of supports do you have in place to remind you of your faith and what is expected of you as a Catholic?
4. Hahn writes: “Quiet conversation is something that doesn’t just happen, at least not very often. Life is busy, life is noisy, and a sustained conversation sometimes requires planning and care” (p. 239). What do you need to do to plan for quiet time with God? What support do you need to find this time?