I took the Church for granted in all sorts of ways. One was the Churches Liturgical Calendar, it helps keep us focused on Jesus even when we are not in the “Happy Joy filled season” of Christmas.
I realized that Christmas was really the only time, I would really devote myself to Jesus and the Church. Easter too, I guess would come into play. Ash Wednesday and then jump to Holy Week and Easter Sunday. Then Advent and Christmas were so exciting. Consequently, the anticipation of Christmas never hit me as something the Church instilled in me with “Advent” I did not connect the dots.
The Liturgical Calendar a great gift
The Churches Liturgical Calendar is filled with all sorts of celebrations and moments of anticipation, as well as participation in the life of Christ. I was disappointed initially, because for years I never paid attention to the great gift we have in the Church! What other things have I dismissed are just waiting around the corner to be discovered? If I missed this glorious and enormous gift, there has got to be more!
The Calendar Explained
The New Year of the Church begins with the beginning of Advent and Ends with the Feast of Christ the King! Again, another piece to this Calendar it TEACHES US! For example, the Liturgical Calendar ends with Feast of Christ the King, which celebrates the second coming of Jesus. Advent begins the year and is about focusing on the second coming of Jesus (in the first half of advent), then to the beginning of the world and the anticipation of the birth of Jesus. From there the entire year is about walking with Christ, his ministry, his passion and death and then his resurrection & ascension and onto the decent of the Holy Spirit and the birth of his Church. We then walk with the Apostles and their proclaiming the Good News until we come back around to Christ the King, that which the Church is preparing everyone for.
Throughout there are mini celebrations and events in the life of the church. Her Saints, Her Feasts and Memorials. Some with anticipation built in on a smaller scale, some with stories all their own. Leading us ever forward on our apostolic mission. It is almost like God knew we needed to be CONSTANTLY reminded of his Love for us, and our need for cheering along this long road ahead of us.
The Church is Organic
I say this a lot in my postings, but it is an truly Organic Church. The Ebb and Flow of the life of the Church, the Lungs of the Church breath in life and exhale against the darkness and loneliness of the outside world.
The Church has gone so far to even list things for us to focus on each Month, as well as each week.
|January||The Holy Name of Jesus|
|February||The Holy Family|
|April||The Holy Eucharist|
|May||Blessed Virgin Mary|
|June||Sacred Heart of Jesus|
|July||The Precious Blood|
|August||The Immaculate Heart of Mary|
|September||Our Lady of Sorrows|
|October||The Holy Rosary|
|November||The Holy Souls in Purgatory|
|December||Divine Infancy and Immaculate Conception|
|Sun ||The Resurrection/ The Trinity|
|Mon ||Holy Angels|
|Tues ||Holy Apostles|
|Fri||The Lords Passion|
|Sat||The Blessed Mother|
Almost like a Mother, guiding her children with suggestions for prayer, for things to focus on.
Parents, we all get the “Daddy/Mommy, I’m bored!” that is the child’s subtle way of saying give me something to do. Well, mother church is giving us something to do. When we say, “I don’t know what to say or how to pray.” The Church says, “Here is a seed planted for you, use it” The Liturgical Calendar, made for us truly helps keep us focused! You can purchase a yearly calendar with the feast days. Or a Liturgical Planner to help keep your schedule.
How many other items are out there with regards to our Church, our Faith that we have no idea are out there to help us in our journey? The parish communities use to share in celebrations throughout the liturgical year. Do you have any special celebrations you still have in your parish? Share them with us! We would love to hear about life in the faith!