Laudetur Jesus Christus! Gelobt sei Jesus Christus!
Sia lodato Gesù Cristo! Praised be Jesus Christ!
Today, we celebrate Pentecost Sunday, the second most important Feast within the Church after Easter Sunday. It is even more important in the Church than Christmas Day. Today is the day in which the Holy Spirit descended upon the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Apostles, and it is also the day of the formal foundation of the Church. It is a significant day for us. So please be sure to celebrate today, for the Church that we belong to and love was founded today for our sake and our salvation!
In my final Catechism talk for the academic year, I spoke about living the liturgical life. When the Liturgical Movement began over a century ago, the goal was to enable Catholics to live the liturgical life fully. Not just settling for the bare minimum that the Church asks, but genuinely going outside of ourselves and allowing the Church to form us. The place where we each first and foremost experience the Church is in her liturgy.
What forms the basis of the liturgy is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the Divine Office (the Divine Office is the Psalms and prayers a priest and religious are bound to say every day for the Church). These are the official actions of the Church, the official prayer. Within the liturgy, the passion and death of Christ are made present to us here and now. The same events that took place in Jerusalem in around 33 A.D. are made present to us in Cincinnati, Ohio in 2018 in Mass. So many of us have problems with distractions at Mass, but may we remind ourselves of that fact each time we are distracted at Mass, or wish to be anywhere else. Because when we are at Mass, we are at the cross itself!
From Mass and the Divine Office forms the liturgical calendar. The liturgical calendars give us the listing of feasts, like Pentecost, and the saints. The whole calendar revolves around the date of Easter, which determines when so many of our essential feasts are kept. The calendar is made up of feasts, days of penance, and regular days known as ferias (just a Latin word for day). We should be conscious of these and live our life around this calendar.
We can compare it to our secular holidays, and how they often determine our work, vacation, party schedules. The liturgical calendar should do the same for us. Living and feasting on major feasts like Easter, Pentecost, Christmas, our patron saint days, etc. We should also fast in the penitential season of Lent and on other days. We also live our normal life on the regular days. The calendar should determine when we have nicer meals, when we have regular meals, and when we have simple meals. Perhaps on feasts, we have special traditions or treats, while on days of penance we make more sacrifice than the Church asks.
Doing these things forms the basis of our spirituality and culture as Catholics. They can be simple things, but so often simple things have the greatest effect. Next week, I will continue this, but with a further explanation of the Oratory life and how you can live it at home too!