The liturgical cycle or life of the Church is a precious gift. It is a beautiful dance—the dance of Christ the bridegroom with his bride. A rich continuous encounter with the salvation He has given to us; with the life we have in Christ. The liturgical life of the Church is how we live sacramentally and are united to Christ and His mystical body the Church; year after year, feast after feast, moment by moment.
In St. Therese of Lisieux’s autobiography we get a beautiful description of the way she and her family lived their faith. There, St. Therese explains the joy of feast days:
“The feasts! What precious memories these simple words bring to me. I loved them; and my sisters knew so well how to explain the mysteries hidden in each one. Those days of earth became days of Heaven…And if the great feasts came but seldom, each week brought one very dear to my heart, and that was Sunday. What a glorious day! The Feast of God! …This day which passed so quickly had also its touch of melancholy; my happiness was full till Compline, but after that a feeling of sadness took possession of me. I thought of the morrow when one had to begin again the daily life of work and lessons, and my heart feeling like an exile on this earth-longed for the repose of Heaven-the never ending Sabbath of our true home.”
The name of this part of our blog—Living Feast to Feast—was inspired by the saintly Martín Family (St. Therese’s family). The Martín family is an excellent example of a family who lived their life according to the Church calendar. They lived feast to feast and Sunday to Sunday and those who are familiar with St. Therese’s “little way” know that they sanctified all of their time and strove for communion with God in all moments.
Here we plan on sharing our own experiences of learning how to live according to the liturgical life of the Church and our understanding of the feast days and cycles throughout the year. A monastery is a place where the purpose of the community is to pray the full services of the Church; where the “days of earth” should be “days of heaven.” Time for Christians is different than it is for other people and our lives should reflect this—our time should be sanctified. This can be hard to do in the busy lives that we live but like the monk who abandons all things in order to live this Christian life, we must learn to change how we order our lives so that we can more fully participate in the Life of Christ.
Feast Day Buddies! – How our family celebrates our patron saints. In July we have five feast days!!!
Preparing for the Nativity – One subject that can get people talking is fasting. Whether asking for a new recipe, wondering how to fast with kids, or seeking support from anyone else who has been living off of PB & J’s too, there is always lively conversation regarding the subject. And of course there are always the more serious questions about fasting.
St. Nicholas, Our Advent So Far, and Fasting Resources – Read about St. Nicholas answering my prayers, the first week of the fasting grumpies, and some tips from Fr. Moses on fasting.
It’s A Good Thing Lent Isn’t Up To Me…– Facing all the ups and downs of life in the context of the liturgical year, on the Churches schedule and not according to our own plans, is good for us on so many different levels. If going through Lent and all that this entails was up to me, it would never happen..
Our Lent So Far – Funny catechism lessons, a liturgical calendar, and a Lenten game plan board.
My Children’s Thoughts On The Great Canon – I asked my 10 and 11 year old what they thought about the long Great Canon service and the life of St Mary of Egypt.
Holy Week And Pascha With Our Family – Lots of pics and an explanation of our typical Holy Week and Pascha activities.
Bright Week With Our Family! – More pics and an explanation of how we usually celebrate Bright Week.
Lessons From A Monastery: Joy! All of the preparations that are endured, the intense fasting, the long hours of prayer, the acts of charity, and the reason for the Church’s traditions and liturgical calendar are to immerse the faithful into the very life of Jesus Christ-the source of all joy. Christ is Risen! Indeed He is Risen!
Pascha In Pictures! – Lots of pics of Holy Week and Pascha at the monastery.
Getting ready for Pentecost! – Brief posts about our Pentecost preperations, including a beautiful flower we planted for our prayer table.