The Catechetical Review - Communicating Christ for a New Evangelization

Sacred Signs: The Hand

Authored by Romano Guardini in Issue #30.3 of The Sower
This liturgical meditation is take from Guardini's book, Sacred Signs. The whole body is the tool and the expression of the soul. The soul does not merely dwell in the body, as if it dwelt in a house, but it lives and works in every member and every fibre. It speaks in every line, and form, and movement of the body. But in a very special way the face and the hand are the tool and the mirror of the soul. This is obvious with regard to the face. But watch anyone – yourself – and see how a movement of temper, of joy, of astonishment, of expectation is revealed by the hand. How often a quick raising, or a slight twitch of the hand says more even than a spoken word. It appears sometimes as if a spoken word were almost coarse compared with the delicate language of the hand, which tells so much. After the face, the hand is the most spiritual part of the body. It is truly firm and strong, as the tool for work, as the weapon for attack or defence; but it is very delicately formed, with many joints, flexible and penetrated with sensitive nerves of feeling. It is truly a machine through which man can reveal his soul. By the hand we welcome the stranger and join souls when we join hands – with this act we express trust, joy, agreement, sympathy.

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This article is from The Sower and may be copied for catechetical purposes only. It may not be reprinted in another published work without the permission of Maryvale Institute. Contact sower@maryvale.ac.uk

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