Welcome to the Catholic Catalogue Book Club! We're reading The Catholic Catalogue, by Melissa Musick and Anna Keating.
Here we begin reading Part Two: Seasons of the Church Year. Seasons are based on the passage of time and the duration of light, true in both nature and in our faith life.
One of the ways Christians give praise to the cycle of time is by praying the Liturgy of the Hours. I’ve found in my life that the LOH is much like rain on hardened and compacted soil; it softens gently through persistence. Reading these prayers aloud activates more of our senses—visually, orally, audibly—and allows us to be sensitive and open to the movement of God.
How we mark the holiness of time is personal and revolves around our life situation. I live an anchoritic life as a lay religious and have days filled with an awareness of Our Lord in ways very different from a mom or dad, or a single person still discerning a calling. We grow in grace, uniquely.
In the book the authors mention how the Virgin Mary had Grace bestowed upon her. Mary had to accept that Grace. Day by day we too learn to accept the gift of grace. With time, even through darkness, we become aware of the beauty and purposefulness in this special gift from God.
I like the connection with the seasons, of darkness with light; how trusting God is easier when sunlight streams through a window, especially so in the dead of winter when darkness is prominent and feels oppressive. We know that seasons change and that we journey through them, quite literally into eternity!
The coming of light, the passage of time, like plants in the garden, allows for our hearts to grow in the Light. We become more of who we are meant to be. The hard case surrounding the seeds of faith softens; slowly and incrementally, through grace we develop fruitfulness.
To Ponder, Reflect, and Discuss:
- What are some of the ways you recognize the holy in your life—daily or weekly, with coworkers, friends, or family—and encourage others to do so as well?
- Would you share here some of the practices you undertake for ‘clearing out room’, ‘create open spaces’, and ‘prepare to receive’ Christ in your home and heart in daily, weekly, or monthly activities? Your comments can encourage others to see new ways to journey through the seasons of our Church, and the seasons of life.
Feel free to comment on your own thoughts from this week's reading, your impressions and reflections, and/or your answers to these questions.
Next week, we'll cover Part Two: Seasons of the Church Year (#24-31). For the complete reading schedule and information about our Book Club, visit the Catholic Catalogue Book Club page.
Copyright 2016 Margaret Rose Realy, Obl. OSB
About the Author
Margaret Rose Realy, Obl. OSB lives an eremitic life and is the author of Cultivating God’s Garden through Lent, A Garden of Visible Prayer: Creating a Personal Sacred Space One Step at a Time, 2nd Edition, and A Catholic Gardener’s Spiritual Almanac. A freelance writer with a Benedictine spirituality, Margaret has a master’s degree in communications and is a Certified Greenhouse Grower, Advanced Master Gardener, liturgical garden consultant, and workshop/retreat leader.