In Monday’s post I discussed the importance of faith impacting every aspect of one’s life. Many people agree with that sentiment, but it can be challenging to actually implement it, beyond the basics of living rightly. How to we build our entire life on our faith?
In other words, faith-impacting-life is about more than morality… it goes deeper than that. But how? How am I to bring my faith to bear on my life in a deep and substantial way? How am I accomplish living in a way that is thoroughly structured by my faith instead of by the world?
One important answer is this: by saturating myself in the liturgical life of the Church, by allowing the rhythm of the liturgical day, week and year to form and shape my life.
To that end and to get some specific proposals, I’d recommend this post on “Living Liturgically”. The author, Michael Bradley, gives some examples on how he strives to “live liturgically”:
I try, now, though so far with little success, to orient my instinctive reactions to days of the week or weeks of the month or seasons of the year more toward the liturgical calendar and away from secular calibration. I try to reflect on the sorrowful mysteries even amid the excitement of an impending Friday night. I try to work more on Saturdays so that I can stay away from the computer on Sundays, or maybe plan to socialize on Saturday evening so that I can dedicate my Friday night to something other than a major social event. I try to greet solemnities with the same general excitement that the Fourth of July elicits in me.
A personal example: for a number of years now I’ve tried to take seriously the Church’s expectation that we perform some penance on each Friday of the year. I do this in part out of a desire to shape my life by my faith: because Jesus died on the Cross for me and for all on a Friday, I try to offer some act of penance, in union with His ultimate self-sacrifice.
Another (one-time) example: a couple years ago my family organized a Pentecost Party to observe this great solemnity that has essentially no significance in our culture.
In this and other examples, my desire is that observing and celebrating the liturgical calendar will — over time –shape my life “Christianly,” to make it… cruciform.
Again, this is a theme to which I will return repeatedly, but for now, this will suffice as a short introduction, to hopefully whet your appetite.
What about you? How have you used the liturgical calendar to bring your faith into your life?