Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Liturgical Year by Joan Chittister

We modern Protestants don’t do the liturgical year. Perhaps we should. Chittister says, “The liturgical year is an adventure in bringing the Christian to fullness…” It is an immersion into the life of Christ. Chittister desires that we grow wiser and holier as we embrace the essentials of life by living in the annual celebrations and disciplines. “We live a liturgical life in order to become like the One whom we follow from manger to the Mount of Olives.”
One might think that revisiting the life of Jesus year after year would not yield fruit. But the idea is that of a spiral. Each year one goes deeper into the experience of the life of Christ.

In living the liturgical year, the Christian approaches the life of Christ from a variety of perspectives. Advent is about learning to wait. Lent reminds us, “We must be prepared to give up some things if we intend to get things that are even more important.” Ordinary time lets us pause for contemplation.
Chittister does a great job in explaining the history and meaning of each part of the year. She got me excited about the adventure of living the liturgical year. I expected some ideas on how to do so but was disappointed. Chittister says, “Liturgical spirituality is about learning to live an ordinary life extraordinarily well.” I just wish she would have told me how to get started!
This book was provided for review by Thomas Nelson Publishers.
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