Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Liturgical Year by Joan Chittister

Thanks to my rep at Thomas Nelson (Damon) for providing me with a copy of Joan Chittister's new book The Liturgical Year: The Spiraling Adventure of the Spiritual Life. Joan is a Benedictine nun, author of 40 books and founder of
Benetvision, a resource and research center for contemporary spirituality located in Erie, Pennsylvania. I wanted to read this book as part of my preparation for the coming Liturgical year.

Joan is Catholic and this book is from a Catholic perspective. She explains that "however the Catholic tradition may reveal itself here, it is not this specific template that is important to this book. It is the liturgical poles of the Christian life--Christmas and Easter--that are common to us all that is the real content of the work." (xv-xvi) One of my goals is to learn from mulitple traditions even though I will eventually decide on one "template" as a primary to follow. From the early chapters of this book I found more inspiration than education.

I'll leave you with one quote to ponder for this week:

"The historical development of the liturgical year has been a slow one, of course, tempered by time, dependent on circumstances, variable in small dimensions from age to age but always clear on one point: the purpose of the liturgical year is to bring to life in us and around us, little by little, one layer of insight after another until we grow to full stature in the spiritual life. Intent on living a spiritual life that matters rather than a spiritual fad that fascinates or a spiritual program that anesthetizes the soul to everything but the self, we find out in the liturgy what makes life matter by following Jesus through every element of it." (21)

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