The Liturgical Year by Joan Chittister

The Liturgical Year is the latest in the excellent ‘Ancient Practices Series’ edited by Phyllis Tickle. Writing from a very Catholic perspective, Joan Chittister outlines this rich yet often overlooked Christian practice, the “year that gives meaning to every other year.”

From the two great poles of the faith [Christmas and Easter], the anticipation of Advent, the sacrifice of Lent, the celebration Paschaltide, right through to the ordinaries of every day life, Chittister takes the reader through the Liturgical calendar and presents us with the challenge to be led again and again to “reflect on the great moments of the life of Jesus and so to apply them to our own.”

This book truly is a wonderful and fruitful read. I have been wanting to look more and more into the wonder of the liturgical year, and Chittister does a fantastic job of not only outlining the ins and outs of this practice, but also in presenting a compelling story of how and why this practice should be the modus operandi of the Christian life.

In her words, “the liturgical year is the arena where our life and the life of Jesus intersect.” It is an “adventure in bringing the Christian life to fullness, the heart to alert, and the soul to focus.” In a time where there are countless numbers of stories vying for our attention, affection and allegiance, the liturgical year reminds us day in and day out not only of the beauty and truth of the story of Jesus, but also the call that it places on all those that wish to follow him today.

This is a fantastic resource for all those interested in exploring this fundamental Christian practice, and I would highly recommend it.

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  1. December 29th, 2009

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