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5.0 out of 5 starsA friend asked me about and for a book of ...
Reviewed in the United States on March 23, 2018
A friend asked me about and for a book of the history of traditions/rituals of the Catholic Church. Instead of just doing a practice or ritual just to be doing it, why should one do it? I told him I would look to see if I could find such a book. I found and read a sample of this book and decided to buy two copies; one for him and me. On receiving them and reading the introduction along with the first chapter on Holy Water, I believe that I have found the exact book he is looking for and that we can read and share together. Being that Scott Hahn is a convert to the Catholic faith, there is no lack of citation to Scripture along with integrating the customs and practices with one's Christian Catholic belief/faith. Should I find that it deviates from my experience I have had so far, I will re-review the book. For now, this review stands for what the book intends to deliver and we were looking to experience.
5.0 out of 5 stars40 well judged meditations on the faith
Reviewed in the United States on July 6, 2018
Hahn is a gifted writer and this book exemplifies what he himself writes about in Chapter 17 "Spiritual Reading". In that chapter he makes the point that spiritual reading (such as reading this book) is a discipline that requires deliberate effort - for example setting aside 10 minutes a day for spiritual reading. Equally importantly, it requires deliberation and one shouldn't just 'power through' a stack of spiritual reading because it will greatly diminish any possibility to reflect on what one has read! It's also why one might be skeptical of people who make a habit of 'reading the whole bible every year'...one has to wonder how much of that was considered on anything more than the superficial level...
Not coincidentally, this book is divided into 40 brief chapters designed to be read and then reflected on - this reflection is where I find real spiritual growth occurs. In this way, it is much like Rev. Scalia's even more excelled "That Nothing Be Lost" book published recently.
5.0 out of 5 starsHahn Explains the Scriptural Basis for Catholic Customs and Traditions
Reviewed in the United States on October 7, 2011
I don't know who would benefit most from this book: cradle Catholics who have become stagnant in their worship practices or non-Catholics seeking to understand why Catholics do what they do. No matter which group you might fit into, there's plenty of enriching information 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.
5.0 out of 5 starsBeautiful encapsulation of Catholic traditions - treasures of our faith
Reviewed in the United States on November 30, 2020
I noticed this book featured on a table at the Catholic Information Center in Washington DC, and well familiar with Scott Hahn's excellent biblical scholarship and other writings, I knew this would be something to shore up my faith in a tough time. My Mom who had been fighting metastatic cancer had recently suffered a stroke, and among other things, her eyesight rapidly declined, rendering her unable to continue one of her most favored pastimes in reading. So, I decided to read one of these chapters to her each day, and she loved them. My dad would listen in as well, and we would all marvel at the rich depth of our faith's traditions. We only made it halfway through the book before my Mom passed away, and we didn't make it some of the most poignant and relevant chapters about preparing for death, etc. which was a pity! But the book gave us some wonderful insights into Catholic traditions and practices and their Biblical roots and meaning, with small interjections of how we can better live our faith through simple and practical recommendations and advice from Hahn. We loved the chapter-concluding "Ponder in your Heart" sections featuring quotations from Fathers of the church, saints and other spiritual powerhouses, they were always on point.
This book is magnificent for all kinds of Catholics and non-Catholics, bringing people to a deeper understanding of this faith, and explaining how how Catholicism is chock-full of rich practices and traditions that elevate and sanctify our physical and material experiences in life. Even beyond serving as valuable Apologetics explanation, Signs of Life leads us on a journey of asceticism and looking for the beauty in the Catholic faith to bring us closer to Christ.
Reviewed in the United States on November 23, 2020
So well written and explain SO much!!! Love Scott Hahn and this is a great book. Very to the point.
I got one for myself and one for my fiancé for Christmas who is converting to the Catholic Church after a 3 year long discernment process. Scott’s books have been so helpful for me relearning my faith and diving deeper as well as for my fiancé who wants to soak it all up. He wants the church to be right and while it is scary to leave what he’s always known, Scott’s books have been so calming to assuring for him. Pray for my fiancé as he enters the church Easter 2021!
4.0 out of 5 starsAN INSIGHTFUL, INTERESTING BOOK THAT WILL NURTURE YOUR FAITH
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 27, 2014
Anything that Scott Hahn writes tends to be both interesting and insightful. I was raised a Catholic and many of the customs he explains I was familiar with. Catholicism tend to get criticized for many of it's customs and it was interesting to discover that most of our customs have their roots in scripture. If you was to learn more about Catholic customs you will find this book very interesting and I believe one that will enrich your faith
4.0 out of 5 stars40 catholic customs and their biblical roots.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 5, 2014
catholic customs and their biblical roots is a most enlightening book, for me anyway. After reading it straight through and getting a 'feel' for what is written, I then went back and selected which sections to read.