Chapter 8: Construction Safety Signs: Mystery and Sacramentality {Lawn Chair Catechism}

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Welcome to this summer’s Lawn Chair Catechism! We’re reading Joe Paprocki’s best-selling book, A Well-Built Faith: A Catholic’s Guide to Knowing and Sharing What We Believe. We’re taking it one chapter at a time all summer long.

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If you’re Catholic, you do know sign language! Consider these:

  • Making the Sign of the Cross.
  • Tracing the Sign of the Cross with your thumb over your forehead, lips, and chest.
  • Genuflecting.
  • Bowing.
  • Praying in the orans position (arms slightly extended, palms up).
  • Sprinkling with Holy Water.

We all speak very important things when we use this Catholic sign language—what we can call a “language of mystery.” Let’s focus on the word “mystery.”

We all like to solve mysteries. Let’s try our hand at a few.

In our culture, a mystery is something that we try to solve. In biblical tradition, however, a mystery is not something to solve, but rather is something to be entered into. A mystery is something that is revealed and yet remains hidden.

What difference does it make that Catholics worship using signs, symbols, and rituals? It means that when we worship, we use the very language that God uses; a language beyond words. This makes perfect sense since, at the very heart of our faith, is our belief in the Incarnation—that wonderful moment when the intangible became tangible. Jesus, then, is the sacrament of God, the language of God, the Word made flesh. If God speaks to all of creation in word and sacrament, and we are made in the image of God, then it follows that we, too, must speak God’s language.

Questions for Reflection and Discussion:

  1. What are some of your favorite mystery novels, movies, or TV shows?
  2. What does it mean that we can know a mystery but not fully understand it?
  3. When was a time in your life when you encountered mystery? What does it mean to say that Catholicism is a sacramental faith?
  4. What does it mean to call Jesus the “Sacrament of God”?

Feel free to comment on your own thoughts from this week’s reading, your impressions and reflections, and/or your answers to these questions. You can also share your blog post by linking up below.

Next week, we’ll cover Chapter 9: The Welding Process: Sacraments of Initiation. For the complete reading schedule and information about this summer’s Lawn Chair Catechism, visit the Lawn Chair Catechism page.

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Copyright 2014 Sarah Reinhard

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