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Signs of Life: 40 Catholic Customs and Their Biblical Roots Hardcover – November 3, 2009
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"There is genius in Catholicism and once again Scott Hahn unveils it like the masterpiece that it is. Every chapter of Signs of Life is filled with insights and practices that will change the way you live your life and celebrate your faith."
— Matthew Kelly, New York Times bestselling author of Rediscovering Catholicism and The Rhythm of Life
"Things done for too long can become a habit — and habits have a way of losing their meaning. In this long awaited treasure of a book, Scott Hahn reveals the historical and biblical roots of so many Catholic practices. Finally Catholics will not only know what to do, but why they do it." — Raymond Arroyo, New York Times bestselling author and host of EWTN's The World Over Live
"Professor Hahn's purpose is both devotional and apologetic. In showing how Catholic popular piety is scripturally grounded, he explains practices that shape Catholic life and help us grow in grace. This is a book that will be helpful to individuals and to the Church as a whole." — Francis Cardinal George, OMI, Archbishop of Chicago
"For decades non-Catholics and even some perplexed Catholics have questioned a number of the beliefs and especially the devotional acts of the Catholic Church. Scott Hahn addresses these questions in Signs of Life, producing crystal-clear explanations of the Church's traditional practices. His own background as a convert makes him the perfect person to write this book." — Fr. Benedict J. Groeschel, CFR
"Scott Hahn has given us a great contribution in connecting the scriptural and traditional foundations of Catholic devotions and practices. This book will enrich both the spiritual life and theological understanding of every reader." — Fr. Michael Scanlan, TOR, chancellor of Franciscan University of Steubenville and author of What Does God Want?
"One of the best ways to break free from spiritual dryness is to learn precisely why we do things. Dr. Hahn's discussion of 'why Catholics do what they do' is thoroughly researched and thoroughly enjoyable. It can help lifelong Catholics appreciate the treasures they've always had, and help non-Catholics appreciate what they may only have seen from afar. Read this book for your own enrichment, but buy one to give away and help someone discover the richness of the Catholic 'Signs of Life'." — Marcus Grodi, host of EWTN's The Journey Home
"Scott Hahn gets me excited about my faith. He shares the biblical truth of our deep tradition in a simple way. Signs of Life gives us hope that all Christians can unite as ONE Catholic faith." — Justin Fatica, author of Hard as Nails
"Learning more about our Catholic life and practices is always a joy. Professor Scott Hahn, in his new book Signs of Life, explains forty Catholic customs and practices as pathways to a richer spiritual life. He uses a unique approach, interweaving these familiar realities with the different stages of the life of a Catholic, highlighting their biblical roots. This handbook should prove very useful to both individuals and faith-sharing groups seeking a deeper understanding of Catholic devotion."
— Most Reverend Donald W. Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington
"In Signs of Life, Scott Hahn has provided a wonderful resource of Catholic belief and practice, as well as an excellent reference for Catholics who want to understand their Faith and its traditions more deeply. Once again, Dr. Hahn has masterfully used his great teaching skills to invite his readers to a richer understanding of Catholic faith, tradition and practice."
— Most Reverend David A. Zubik, Bishop of Pittsburgh
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
for everyone in this book.
Hahn is able to take 40 of the most common Catholic traditions and explain the Biblical foundation for the practice. He also includes information from leading theologians and first-hand accounts from his own experience. More than that, however, he concludes each chapter with a "Ponder in Your Heart" section which is great food for thought for the rest of your day. Because of this format, the book lends itself beautifully to a chapter-a-day meditation for Lent or any other 40 day period.
As a life-long Catholic and participant in numerous Catechism classes and Bible studies, I thought I knew it all. But Hahn opened my eyes and heart to the symbols of my Faith in ways I had never considered.
The customs he discusses are: Holy Water, the Sign of the Cross, Baptism, the Mass, Guardian Angels, the Liturgical Calendar, Lent and Easter, Advent and Christmas, Novenas, posture, Morning Offering, Prayers of Aspiration, the Angelus, Grace at Meals, Examination of Conscience, Bible Study, Spiritual Reading, Retreat, Confirmation, Marriage, Priesthood, Anointing of the Sick, Incense, Candles, Sacred Images, Relics, Fasting, Confession, Indulgences, Intercession of the Saints, Pilgrimages, the Presence of God, Almsgiving, The Trinity, the Rosary, Scapulars and Medals, Mental Prayer, the Tabernacle, Preparation for Death, and Prayers for the Dead.
Truly, this is a mind-opening book for anyone who wants to understand the Catholic faith more completely.
In the introduction to this work Dr. Hahn provides a brief definition of sacraments and sacramentals in order that the reader understands the difference and the significance of both. The work is then divided into phases of life that remind us of these disciplines: birth, life progresses in time, each day in the life of the Christian, disciplines through the entirety of life, significant stages in life, enjoyment of life, the abundant life, devotions to the saints we love, and the end of life. Each phase provides brief descriptions of one or more devotional practices describing their biblical and historical roots in the Church. On my own spiritual journey, I was amazed at the number of these practices already forming in the first and second century. Dr. Hahn has found the same continuity with the Apostles and with scripture.
To his credit, Dr. Hahn does not shrink from such difficult topics as indulgences. And, he does not describe the practices in such a generic manner as to lose the context of the Church as their proper home. The discerning reader wishing special depth on a particular topic will want to look elsewhere for that detail. What Dr.Read more ›
Why is the Sign of the Cross so extraordinarily meaningful? - You will never want to be distracted again!
And Holy Water: my grandmother always had a little font with holy water on the second floor - now I really appreciate why and I make sure to use it each day! His brief explanations of the Mass, Holy Communion and the benefits of confession are masterpieces of brevity and depth.
I strongly recommend this book to everyone - but particularly for those just entering the Church (it shows a wonderful way to live out one's faith in deeds) and those who really don't remember much of what older people used to do and wonder what these customs are all about. Yes they have been missing out: these customs are well worth knowing about.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It has met more than expectation. Great book. Eye-opening. I was lost but now I am found back in Catholic church. Thank you. Thanks be to God. Lord have mercy.Published 19 days ago by Amazon Customer
Great book for beginning catholics and cradle catholics looking to understand their faith better.Published 6 months ago by Opinionated chick
Excellent, short meditations about practices in our faith about we usually do not think much. In almost every topic he brings together scripture, patristic readings, (tradition),... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Zeljko Guberovic
Our daughter is a new convert to Catholicism and I wanted to check out for myself what they believe. Read morePublished 10 months ago by K. Gascon