So as promised, my summer reading continues! Lounging on my deck this evening, I finished Signs of Life, by Scott Hahn. The author is one of favorite theologians because he has a crazy-massive amount of knowledge when it comes to Scripture and Church history yet always, always remains humble and sincere. No pride, no legalism, no aloofness. His knowledge totally travels down to his heart and he desires that same thing for his readers.
This particular title by him intrigued me and was less known to me than some of his other books. I absolutely love being Catholic and I love the extras that come with it (the Saints, Holy Water, Sacraments, Feast Days, etc.) Though often our Protestant brothers and sisters from the outside looking in see this as empty rituals at best or idolatry at worst, Scott so beautifully explains that the practices of our Faith are far from that. Rather they're an outward sign of an inward reality. A gift of our loving Father and Creator who knows that we are both soul and body. The invisible expressed by the visible. He covers the Sign of the Cross, the Rosary, religious medals, and more.
And each of these "extras" as I called them are not only helpful in devotion and following Christ, but also deeply rooted in Scripture and have been practiced by Christians from the very first centuries. One of my favorite things about this book was the section at the end of each chapter: "Ponder With Your Heart." Scott Hahn shares a writing from early Church fathers, Scripture, or other Church leaders on the topic of the chapter and encourages the reader to prayerfully consider how you can apply what you've read to grow closer to the Lord in your daily life.
This book deserves five stars and I'd recommend it to anyone with a desire to grow in your faith and knowledge of Scripture, the early Church, and devotion to Christ. If you are Catholic, you'll renew your awareness and gratitude of the richness of our Faith. If you are not Catholic, you'll learn much of the Scriptural/ancient church background of why Catholics do such weird things sometimes!
[Thank you to Blogging for Books for providing me with this review copy at no cost! The content of this review contains my honest and original words and thoughts.]