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Book: Sacred Signs
Author: Romano Guardini
Michael Glazier, Inc. 106 pp.

Excerpt from Introduction:

As the liturgical awakening within the church reaches new generations, it seems appropriate — more than appropriate, wise — that we return to the prayerful reflections of this deeply religious man, [Romano Guardini] one who, having perceived the essential ocmmunion of all, is able to make connections that communicate meanings. This is the symbol-making process, peculiar to human beings and without which liturgy becomes mere ceremony, superstitious incantation, without significance. It is not essential that we accept Guardini’s meanings. It is essential that, learning from him to attend, to participate in the language of symbol, we discover our own.

Only then well our liturgy be prayer and our lives holy.

Excerpt from Book:

When we cross ourselves, let it be with a real sign of the cross. Instead of a small cramped gesture that gives no notion of its meaning, let us make a large unhurried sign, from forehead to breast, from shoulder to shoulder, consciously feeling how it includes the whole of us, our thoughts, our attitudes, our body and soul, every part of us at once, how it consecrates and sanctifies us.

It does so because it is the sign of the universe and the sign of our redemption. On the cross Christ redeemed humankind. By the cross he sanctifies us to the last shred and fiber of our being. We make the sign of the cross before we pray to collect and compose ourselves and to fix our minds and hearts and wills upon God. We make it when we finish praying in order that we may hold fast the gift we have received from God. In temptations we sign ourselves to be strengthened; in dangers, to be protected. The cross is signed upon us in blessings in order that the fullness of God’s life may flow into the soul and fructify and sanctify us wholly.

Think of these things when you make the sign of the cross. It is the holiest of all signs. Make a large cross, taking time, thinking what you do. Let it take in your whole being – body, soul, mind, will, thoughts, feelings, your doing and not-doing — and by signing yourself with the cross strengthen and consecrate the whole in the strength of Christ, in the name of the triune God.

Table of Contents:

The sign of the cross




Striking the breast




Holy Water




Light and heat

Bread and wine


The altar

The Chalice

The Paten


Space sanctified


Time sanctified

The name of God