Friday, August 11, 2006

A Catholigism: Ritual and Justifisanctification

It strikes me, concerning the liturgical calendar, how our whole lives are being sanctified within its ritual.

(Whoa, I see that flag. Yes, I see that red flag in the front. And I see several in the balcony. Red flags are popping up all over the place at the mention of liturgical calendar and ritual, and cords of wood are being gathered as I speak of sanctification occurring in ritual. But hold off on the matches for a moment, if you would.)

What I mean by my statement is that when we live our lives consciously within the liturgical calendar, within liturgy, our lives begin to keep step with the Church. The patterns of the Church then become the patterns of our lives. Every Friday becomes not, principally, about the weekend, but a remembrance of Jesus' passion and death. We become participants in the life of Christ when we become participants in the life of the Church.

And through this participation we receive grace, not because of some magical mumbo-jumbo, or because of something we have earned, but because we have become fixed upon our God - the source of all graces. By His grace, we participate in His life and so become more like Him. (It is not a matter of 42 years of liturgical participation + 5,000 Eucharists + 1 baptism + 1 confirmation + 600 reconciliations + 1 anointing of the sick = a justified life. It is not mathematics or economics, but it is friendship with Christ - which leads to repentance and reconciliation and peace.) And as Moses' face shone from YHWH's presence, so our lives begin to shine in the presence of Christ and as His Body.

Fridays fix our minds on the resurrection we celebrate on Sundays. And so - week after week, season after season, year after year - our lives begin to beat with the rhythm of Christ's.


truevyne said...

Perhaps it's my compulsion for order, but I've fallen head over heels in love with the liturgical calendar. It keeps me centered.

Scott said...

True, I feel the same way. I want to become more conscious of it, that I might be more conscious of Christ.

Owen of 4 blogs said...

I am amazed how many years I missed out on this as an evangelical minister. I am embarrassed to admit that I had not even heard of the Christian liturgical calendar until I had been in ministry for several years and ran into a priest at a local ministerial. Even then my heart began to open.

Aimee Milburn said...

I love the comments here about people's love for the liturgical cycle.

I worked as a music director for several years after my entrance into the Catholic Church, and I can tell you there is nothing like it for getting plunged into the spiritual realities of the life of Christ and His saints lived out in the cycle.

Liturgy is beautiful and mysterious and goes through incredible permutations throughout the year, so much more than just a celebration: the joy of Christmas, the agony of Holy Week, the gentleness of the Good Shepherd in the summer months.

The experience rapidly and deeply changed my conception of what is to be a follower of Christ and a Catholic - we don't just believe in Him, and give assent to the truths of the faith, we live them, deeply and fully in our own lives, and should strive to immerse ourselves in them more and more throughout the year.

One of my dreams is to someday see the foundation of a sacred music institute dedicated to training musicians in liturgy and sacred theology, so all our musicians will know how to plan liturgies that reflect all the nuances of the liturgical calendar, and help the congregation draw into them.

Nice to visit you here, Scott. Always enjoy your comments elsewhere!

Hope said...

This past calendar year (2005) was my first full year as a Catholic. It was also the first year in memory where the change of seasons did not bother me. No discouragement that it was winter, no mourning that summer was going, etc. For the first time I was content in the season. I have wondered how the church's liturgical calendar played into this. Did it change my focus from the weather (which we Canadians are known for bemoaning/discussing)? I wonder about that sometimes. With the liturgical calendar I was challenged to grow, to reflect, to go through time with focus. To think I get to do it all again year after year thrills me.

Anna said...

So, you going to Mass for the Feast Day today?

Scott said...

Hey, Anna - I went this morning with the two marauders. Fortunately we were the only ones in the "cry room."

Meg said...

You're funny with that red flag crap. Just say what you say, my friend. Don't assume the perception and reaction until it occurs. And even then, just let it sail by.

I believe you can do and believe anything you want.

Anna said...

Praise Jesus for the cry rooms!