Seeing the Sacramentals

Allison Gingras, one of our Catholic Mom friends, wrote a book “Encountering Signs of Faith: My Unexpected Journey with Sacramentals, the Saints, and the Abundant Grace of God.”

Teaching Faith with Sacramentals

It’s an adoption story rooted in the incredible blessing of God at work in her life, but what struck me is her use of Sacramentals to teach her adopted daughter, Faith, about God. This was particularly challenging because Faith is profoundly deaf and lived the first three years of her life in a foster home in China without knowing any language at all.

The book also offers us to the opportunity of intentionally seeing sacramentals in our daily life. These items or sacred signs, usually blessed, point us to receiving God’s grace through the Holy Spirit in the sacraments. (Sacraments / Sacramentals)

It’s likely you have some in your home, such as your bible, rosary, maybe a prayer card, Saint medal, scripture verse, or Crucifix. Maybe you’ve never put a formal name to them or thought of them in that way. But if it’s an item that reminds you of God’s love and grace in your life, it’s a sacramental.

My wedding ring is a sacramental. It’s a blessed item that reminds me of my sacrament of marriage in the church. I hadn’t thought of it before someone mentioned it, but now I look at my ring in a new way.

After putting some thought to it, I realized how many sacramentals are in my house. A crucifix lives above the door of every bedroom. A multitude of rosaries in various places remind me to pray. Prayer cards stand in as bookmarks, inviting me to pause a moment and thank God for the blessings in my life. Even my son’s water bottle boasts a sticker parade of saints – from St. Michael the Archangel to St. Nicholas.

As you go through your day, where do you notice items or signs that invite you to pause and reflect on God’s grace in your life?


Shelly Henley Kelly