In this illuminating book, Joan Chittister explains that the liturgical year immerses us over and over again in the sense and substance of the Christian life until, eventually, we become what we say we are: followers of Jesus all the way to the heart of God. It is an adventure in human growth; it is an exercise in spiritual ripening. Discover the importance of hearing the same Scripture stories year after year and celebrating the feasts and liturgical seasons each year. Hardcover.
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Customer Reviews for The Liturgical Year: The Spiraling Adventure of the Spiritual Life - The Ancient Practices Series - eBook
Review 1 for The Liturgical Year: The Spiraling Adventure of the Spiritual Life - The Ancient Practices Series - eBook
Date:January 5, 2011
thatjeffcarter was here
I didn't grow up in a liturgical denomination. My denomination doesn't have much use for the liturgy. So I'm mostly unfamiliar with the liturgical cycle. I don't know the appropriate colors for Lent. I don't know my feast days from my fast days; the only St. day I'm familiar with is St. Patrick's day and Ordinary Time sounds, to me, so very ... ordinary. So reading The Liturgical Year: the Spiraling Adventure of the Spiritual Life by Joan Chittister has been a venture into unfamiliar territory.
Let me give an example.
Christmas - for me - has always come at the end of the year. And this makes a sort of obvious sense. The holiday comes toward the end of the last month of the civic and solar calendar. But for centuries the Christian Church has celebrated Advent and Christmas as the beginning of the year.
Similarly, Sunday has always been a part of the week's end. We'd go to church on Sundays -at the end of a long weary week - to "recharge our spiritual batteries," as it were. But, like Advent, Sundays are the beginning of the week. Sunday (the little Easter) shouldn't the drooping and dragging end of a week but the joyful celebration of a new beginning. I've got things all together backwards.
The liturgical calendar might seem like an arbitrary arrangement of feasts and celebrations, but it has been deliberately designed and over the centuries carefully refined as a subtle teacher, teaching by pattern and repetition the foundational truths of the Christian faith. Like Mr. Miyagi teaching Daniel karate with endlessly repeated tasks, the liturgical year - when purposefully and intelligently followed - can give strength and skills to our faith.
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. (pg. 21) Though most of the book has prompted me to further reading and to a deeper exploration of the lliturgical cycle, Chapter 32 on Marian Feasts was largely wasted on me. The Roman Catholic devotion to Mary, the mother of Jesus, isn't something I'll be incorporating into the way I put the lliturgical year into practice.
I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255