In North America just recently and in Canada last month, the people celebrated Thanksgiving. I have always envied these countries for this time of family celebration and giving thanks for all that has been over the year and to look forward in hope for what the New Year might bring – not only by way of a healthy harvest, but within the family. It was an experience to be in the United States over Thanksgiving and to witness how people really gave their all for this time with family. I’m reminded of a sentence that came alive for me from: The Red Tent by Anita Diamant which says: “If you sit on the bank of a river, you see only a small part of its surface. And yet, the water before your eyes is proof of unknowable depths.”
If we just look at the surface of things – even as we gaze at the damaged earth, we fail to see that beneath its surface there dwells deep down, new life and opportunity.
This could be said about our Liturgical Year. All that was not so good this year can be seen and lived differently next time around. As Joan Chittister says: “The Liturgical Year is the arena where our life and the life of Jesus intersect. . . Jesus was born to confront the cross. . .” What causes us pain and broken relationships can be healed if we dig deep into the cause and see possible means of healing. Even the death of a loved one, when we dwell on memories we can find hidden gems to be treasured that will live on in our hearts allowing us the courage to move on. Each year our Liturgical Year carries us through those moments of loss, heartache and despair and brings us to happy moments of hearing again, the comforting words of Jesus, the pastoral care of the apostles and the wisdom found in our ancient texts. What didn’t register this year will come back again in a new form and hopefully enlighten us and give us the hope and consolation we need.
“Thanksgiving (our Liturgical Year) is a time to look beneath our external lives for the unwavering love, the ceaseless peace, and the enduring strength that lie is the deep waters of our soul.” Joyce Rupp. The Circle of Life©2005.
One of the many treasures of our Church is our Liturgical Year, with its colours, symbolism and rituals that speak to every emotion and lived reality.
Happy New Liturgical Year with Advent as our precursor to a wonderful year ahead – 2023!
Sr Rose Mary Harbinson, RNDM