The world in which we live is full of material things that
have symbolic meaning: light, fire, water... there are also, in everyday life, experiences of relationships between human beings, which express and symbolize deeper realities such as
taking part in a protest march (as a sign of solidarity), joining together in a national celebration (as a sign of identity).
We need signs and symbols to help us understand what is
happening at present, or what happened before, and to give us an awareness of who we are, as individuals and as groups.
Jesus is the great sign of the Father’s love. He
founded the Church as a sign and instrument of His love. Christian life also has its signs. Jesus used bread, wine, water to help us understand higher things, which we can neither see or
In the celebration of the Eucharist and the other sacraments
(baptism, confirmation, reconciliation, matrimony, orders, the sacrament of the sick) the symbols, (water, oil, the laying on of hands, the rings,) all have their own meaning and bring us
As well as liturgical signs, the
Church has others related to some event, to some tradition or some person. One of these is the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.