Symbols of Faith – Your Weekly Reflection from CMMB
In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.—Proverbs 3:6
A Catholic Meditation on the Gospel
Our churches are filled with beautiful images that speak to our beliefs, faith, traditions, and rich history. Although we may not always be aware of them, many symbols surround us and connect us to sacred imagery.
They remind us who we are, and support us in prayer as we celebrate the sacraments in a church or cathedral, and can even engage us during moments of private meditation. They are rooted in Christian history, honoring the many faithful who have come before us.
Take for example the fish. It was carved into the walls of the catacombs in ancient Rome and is still seen on bumper stickers today. The fish was introduced as a secret code for the early Christians because the word for fish in Greek is ichthys. This also happens to be an acrostic or puzzle for the Greek Iesous Chrostos, Theou Uios, Soter which means Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior. The first letter of each Greek word spells out ichthys, or fish.
While the fish is very well known, the pelican is not always recognized as a symbol of Christ. In this image, which became popular in medieval times, the mother pelican picks her chest, allowing her chicks to feed on her blood. The connection is clear. The mother pelican gives her life to save her chicks, much like Jesus gave his life so we may live. Look for the pelican design on altars, tabernacles, and on the ceilings of some churches and chapels.
We took the value of sacred images to heart when the new CMMB logo was created. Do you recognize the stylized representation of the sacred Madonna and child at the center? Where others might simply see an ampersand — which is symbolic to our commitment to partnerships — faithful members of our CMMB family see Mary holding the infant Jesus, as well as the women and children living in extreme poverty who are at the center of all we do.
Sacred symbols can hold great meaning. While at first glance they are very simple, the fish, pelican, dove, cross, anchor, and so many others offer a reminder that we are always in the presence of God.
Stories of Children Living in Extreme Poverty
Mirline knows far too well what it is like to go to bed hungry. She needs access to nutritious food to ensure she grows up healthy and strong.
Education is John’s only chance at a better life. His family cannot afford school fees. He needs to attend classes so he can learn, study, and move ahead.
Michael is Mirline’s brother. Their family lives in extreme poverty and his health is weak. Michael needs access to quality medical care so he can flourish and grow strong.
Today’s reflection was adapted from and inspired by Ligouri Publications.