Living liturgically is food for the soul. I always set out with the intent to teach my children something about our faith by living liturgically. I decorate the house in the liturgical color, we pray certain prayers, even eat certain foods (nothing extreme-just little ways) but at the end of the day it feeds me just as much as my children, maybe more. Living liturgically taught me to create a domestic church within my home, a sacred space, a dwelling where the reminder of Christ is ever present. Living liturgically cultivates a rhythm for the soul, a place to remember and encounter Christ.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church states, “the celebration throughout the year of the mysteries of the Lord’s birth, life, death, and Resurrection in such a way that the entire year becomes a ‘year of the Lord’s grace.’ Thus, the cycle of the liturgical year and the greatest feasts constitute the basic rhythm of the Christian’s life of prayer, with its focal point at Easter.” (1168)
The house barren…bereft of flowers and adorned in purple (the color of penance), succulents, fasting, and our decorative crosses on calvary leaves us with a stark sense as one enters into Lent. With a particular focus on prayer, fasting, and almsgiving we claim more deeply this time set apart for us. We’re called to remember. I don’t forget what Christ did for me during the rest of the year, but Lent draws me back into the remembering with all my senses. It’s almost as if I’m walking that road with Christ. With stations of the cross, sometimes at the church, other times in our backyard we truly are walking the path to Calvary. And isn’t that what we are called to? To remember and walk with Christ, at times carrying the very cross like Simon of Cyrene.
Then comes the glorious days of Easter. The long awaited time after a sometimes gruelling Lent-yet a Lent we know we needed. On Holy Saturday, the home is adorned with the amazing scents of food for the feast-foods left behind during Lent. We decorate the home with fresh flowers, and beautiful Easter decorations to celebrate the long-awaited hope for the next 50 days. The Easter scriptures draw us into the story and remind us of the power and majesty we have in His resurrection with a culmination of Pentecost and the decent of the Holy Spirit. We are not alone!
As an athlete, this speaks to me. Why do we challenge ourselves? Because we must regularly remember we were made for more. We can only hang out in comfort for so long. Even Ordinary time is a powerful reminder that following Jesus has ordinary and extraordinary times. The rhythm of the liturgical year allows this ebb and flow of fast and feast, remember and celebrate.
Living liturgically matters. Adorning your little domestic church matters. These little ways matter. They may seem invaluable, but just as God created the seasons for us to enter into, savor, and enjoy; so the Church has these foundations and rhythms that console our hearts the same way. Living liturgically creates a rhythm for my heart and soul which helps me encounter Christ in a deeper way.
How does living the rhythms of the Church impact your life?