I was very excited to begin reading Sign and Mysteries: Revealing Ancient Christian Symbols this book in hopes of learning many new meanings of symbols. And I was not disappointed at all. Mike Aquilina is a great author whose style is very informative but accessible to many readers.
This book delves into 25 different symbols of our Catholic faith, ancient but still current. I was at a deacon’s house and his wife had decorated the guest bathroom with dolphins and lighthouses, which when I usually see I think, “well, we live in Florida, of course people decorate with these images.” However, after reading this book I learned that “dolphins appear frequently on the walls of the catacombs. As symbols of Christ, they bear the souls of the saints to glory” (70). And lighthouses are a symbol of our Christian faith.
My favorite chapters though were “Bread and Sheaves” and “The Banquet,” both about the Eucharist, which is what keeps me firmly grounded in my faith.
Overall it was very interesting and enlightening. I would say though, that rather than read the entire book, you can pick up a chapter or two on whichever topic is of interest to you. In that respect, it would be great for catechists to help show how Christian symbols permeate all aspects of our lives, even today. It could also be of help to priest and deacons preparing homilies to tie in information from the early church to today.