Benedictine Sister Joan Chittister appropriately subtitled her book on the Liturgical Year "Spiraling Adventure of the Spiritual Life." This phrase encourages us to enter deeply into the feasts and readings of the Liturgical Year so that they will aid us Christian pilgrims in our spiritual journeys through life. This allows the Light of Christ to guide our day by day spiritual growth which, in turn, will guide our physical, mental, psychological and emotional journeys from birth to death helping us to the image of God within us , cooperating with God, Creator of our lives, our families and the world.
Each Liturgical Year begins on the First Sunday of Advent and ends on the Solemnity of Christ the King. Each year is made up of six seasons: Advent, Christmas, Lent, the Sacred Paschal Triduum, Easter and Ordinary Time.
As we follow the mystery of Christ recounted through the events and readings of the Liturgical Year, we are drawn to acknowledge the distance between the ideals we see in the life of Christ and the less than perfect images of them we find in our own lives. Each of us is invited to spend time before and after our weekend Mass in prayer expressing gratitude for our successes and blessings, asking God to help us transform us from our limitations and failings to the more perfect images of God we are capable of becoming.
To assist us in pondering the weekly liturgical events and readings, we have placed links to the coming Sunday's liturgical readings into our parish's weekly email The Mary Garden. If you would like to receive these weekly emails, please contact the Parish Center.
The following are quotations from Sister Joan Chittister's book The Liturgical Year. Prayerfully reflecting on these passages may enable you to engage more meaningfully in our weekend Masses and in the seasons of the Liturgical Year.
“The liturgical year is Jesus with us, for us, and in us as we strive to make His life our own. . . . To do this, the liturgical year immerses the Christian in the life and death of Jesus from multiple perspectives. It invites us to walk with the Jesus of the Gospels, hearing what His followers heard, seeing what His followers saw. We see the Jesus who confronted the systems of His time. It gives us clear and common models of what it means to live a Christian life here and now. It shows us the Jesus who stops by the side of the road to heal the sick, parley with the outcast, and consort with foreigners. It engrafts us into the very lived experiences of searching for God and working for change and growing in truth.”
“To live the liturgical year is to remember God’s goodness in life, day after day, week after week, season after season, and to remind ourselves ceaselessly, therefore, of our own obligation to live life differently as a result.”
“The liturgical year breaks us open to the divine. It gives us the energy to become the fullness of ourselves. It makes the next step possible. It calms us as we stumble from one to the other. It leads us beyond our present selves to the self that lies in wait for God. By taking us into the depth of what it means to be a human on the way to God . . . the liturgical year breaks us open to the divine.”