Thursday 13 November 2008

Signs & Mysteries: Revealing Ancient Christian Symbols by Mike Aquilina & Lea Marie Ravotti

Signs & Mysteries:
Revealing Ancient Christian Symbols
Mike Aquilina
Lea Marie Ravotti (Illustrator)

Our Sunday Visitor
ISBN 9781592764501

Signs and Mysteries-Revealing Ancient Christian Symbols by Mike Aquilina and Lea Marie Ravotti is a great new book. It examines the signs and symbols of the Christian tradition from three perspectives - the historical archeological perspective, a theological perspective
and from the view of what they can mean to us today. The book is written for the casual student of church history to the most devoted practitioner of the Catholic faith and the full range in between. The book is fantastically illustrated so that the images will have an original feel rather than look like photos from an art history book.

This book will cover a great breadth. The chapters of the book are:

The Background
The Fish
The Orant
The Shepherd
The Vine
The Philosopher
The Phoenix
The Dolphin
The Peacock
The Lamp
The Plow

The Lamb
The Dove
Bread and Sheaves
The Crown
The Banquet
The Lighthouse
The Ankh
The Cross
The Anchor
Ships and Boats
The Labarum (Chi-Rho)
Alpha and Omega

Through the process of examining these symbols, a believer will encounter deeper meaning in elements of the tradition with which they are already familiar and will encounter new symbols that can bring deeper meaning into their faith and worship life. The book can even be used for a series of meditations as you read about each sign, learn about it, meditate upon its meaning and how it can impact your faith. What does the peacock (usually associated with pride or vanity) have to do with Catholicism? What does the Ankh, usually a Goth symbol of death, mean to early Christians and what can it mean to us? Many of these signs have corrupted or perverted representations in general culture. Now we can reclaim these items and when we see them misused know their true meaning (and maybe use it as a tool to pray for those people.)

This book is an excellent addition to Catholic History and to your faith life. Pick it up and explore new elements of tradition, history and practical faith.
This is my first review for The Catholic Company. They have a new expanded reviewers program. So if you are Catholic and have a blog or website and are interested in reviewing products, stop by and check it out. Hat tip to Ebeth from A Catholic Mom Climbing the Pillars for putting me on to being a reviewer for The Catholic Company and here is a link to her review of this book.

Books by Mike Aquilina:
A Year with the Angels: Daily Meditations with the Messengers of God
A Year With The Church Fathers: Patristic Wisdom for Daily Living
Angels of God: The Bible, the Church and the Heavenly Hosts
Companion Guide to Pope Benedict's 'The Fathers' 
Faith of Our Fathers: Why the Early Christians Still Matter and Always Will
Fire of God's Love: 120 Reflections on the Eucharist
Good Pope, Bad Pope: Their Lives, Our Lessons 
Love in the Little Things: Tales of Family Life
Ministers & Martyrs: The Ultimate Catholic Guide to the Apostolic Age
Praying in the Presence of Our Lord: With St. Thomas Aquinas
Roots of the Faith: From the Church Fathers to You
Sharing Christ's Priesthood: A Bible Study for Catholics
Signs and Mysteries: Revealing Ancient Christian Symbols
Sweet Gridlock: Selected Love Poems 
Terms and Conditions: Assorted Poems
The Apostles and Their Times
The Church and the Roman Empire
The Fathers of the Church Bible
The Fathers of the Church: An Introduction to the First Christian Teachers
The Mass of the Early Christians
The Resilient Church: The Glory, the Shame, & the Hope for Tomorrow
The Social Doctrine of the Catholic Church
The Way of the Fathers: Praying With the Early Christians
The Witness of Early Christian Women: Mothers of the Church
Understanding the Mass: 100 Questions, 100 Answers
Why Me? When Bad Things Happen
Yours Is the Church: How Catholicism Shapes Our World

Books co-written by Mike Aquilina:
A Pocket Catechism for Kids - Fr. Kris Stubna
Dion: The Wanderer Talks Truth - Dion DiMucci
Keeping Mary Close: Devotion to Our Lady through the Ages - Fr. Frederick Gruber
Living the Mysteries: A Guide for Unfinished Christians - Scott Hahn
Praying the Psalms the Early Christians - Christopher Bailey
Saint Monica and the Power of Persistent Prayer - Mark W. Sullivan
Seven Revolutions: How Christianity Changed the World and Can Change It Again - James Papandrea
Something More Pastoral: The Mission of Bishop, Archbishop, and Cardinal Donald Wuerl - Ann Rodgers
Take Five: Meditations John Henry Newman - Fr. Juan Velez
Take Five: Meditations Pope Benedict XVI - Fr. Kris Stubna
Take Five: On the Job Meditations With St. Ignatius - Fr. Kris Stubna
Talking to Youth About Sexuality: A Parents' Guide - Fr. Kris Stubna
The Ancient Path: Old Lessons from the Church Fathers for a New Life Today - John Michael Talbot
The Church: Unlocking the Secrets to the Places Catholics Call Home - Cardinal Donald Wuerl
The Doubter's Novena: Nine Steps to Trust the Apostle Thomas - Christopher Bailey
The Feasts: How the Church Year Forms Us as Catholics - Cardinal Donald Wuerl
The Grail Code: Quest for the Real Presence - Christopher Bailey
The Great Life: Essays on Doctrine and Holiness in Honor of Father Ronald Lawler, O.F.M. Cap. - Kenneth Ogorek
The Holy Land: A Guide for Pilgrims - Fr. Dave Halaiko
The How-To Book of Catholic Devotions - Regis J. Flaherty
The Mass: The Glory, the Mystery, the Tradition - Cardinal Donald Wuerl
The World's First Christmas: Jubilee 2000 - Regis J. Flaherty
Weapons of the Spirit: Selected Writings of Father John Hugo - David Scott
What Catholics Believe: A Pocket Catechism - Fr. Kris Stubna

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