Friday, November 25, 2011

We are a celebrating Church

This Sunday we begin the grace-filled season of Advent - my favorite Liturgical season! Also, we begin to pray the Mass from the new Roman Missal! What a day Sunday will be! In some of our parishes the priest and the people have been "practicing" ahead of time. It seems as if everyone is ready to go! As you know our Sisters serve in parish Religious Education programs and some are Directors of Religious Ed. One of our Sisters sent the following memo to her catechists:

Dear Catechists, Aides and Volunteers,

I have truly come to LOVE THE CHURCH, and to LOVE THE CHURCH YEAR! I remember the first time I became aware that the Church has its own calendar.… What excited me most was discovering that if I followed this calendar, there would be many opportunities for celebrations, and I love to celebrate! Sometimes the celebrations are big. With Solemnities we pull out all the stops and really celebrate, (e.g. Christmas, Ascension Thursday) going to Mass and sometimes having the day off. On Feasts, we remember and celebrate the lives of special people who show us how to live, and how to love God and others. Then there are smaller celebrations, memorials or optional memorials.

I love this quote in YouCat (the youth catechism of the Catholic Church) about the Church year, offered by a German writer: “The Church year which makes present and portrays anew the life of Christ, is mankind’s greatest work of art; and God has acknowledged it and allows it year after year, always granting it new light, as though one were encountering it for the first time.”

Article 185 in YouCat says: “Just as we celebrate a birthday or a wedding anniversary each year, so too the Liturgy celebrates over the course of the year the most important events in Christian salvation history. With one important difference, however: All time is God’s time. “Memories” of Jesus’ life and teaching are simultaneously encounters with the living God”.”

I also love looking at great works of art. Some paintings seem to bring us into the event which they portray. But even more profound is remembering the life of Jesus, since this brings us into an encounter with the living God. Yes, living the Liturgical year brings us into an encounter with the living God!

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