In a span of 93 days, there are two years ending (the Liturgical Year and 2012) and three years commencing (the Year of Faith, the next Liturgical Year, and 2013).
I would really like to make a go of the Year of Faith. Seriously make a go of it. And when I have slid into it (hopefully soon), to share some practices, thoughts, and inspirations to my husband and children.
I am going for the simplest way. I am reading the Holy Father's Apostolic Letter on the Year of Faith. Then, I am also trying to read the Catechism of the Catholic Church within the 365 Days of Faith. (You can also read it online.) I pray that the Lord will prompt me on what else to do along the way...
Elizabeth has put together a wonderful post on the Year of Faith, sharing practical ways of observing the Year. Do read her post, if you haven't done so yet.
In my part of the world, people will tell you that we have the longest Christmas Season, starting on December 16, also the start of the dawn Novena Masses (a tradition I hope to post about soon), and ending with the Feast of the Epiphany.
Mall owners (universally, I guess) want the Christmas Season to be much longer, though. I was in a department store last September 1 and yes, they were playing Christmas carols.
Which brings me to my point (this is a quick take, right). This year, I would like to start preparing for Christmas in October, the month of the Holy Rosary. I am asking the Blessed Mother to accompany my family in the journey towards Bethlehem. She is the best companion and guide.
In a surge of overconfidence in my capabilities, I bought a 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle many years ago. The completed picture would be that of Our Lady of Lourdes with representations of the 15 mysteries of the Holy Rosary around her image. When the reality of limited time, patience, and skill struck and settled in, the puzzle box remained unopened. For a long time.
Last week, I finally brought out the puzzle box, dusted it, and opened it. Then I laid out the pieces.
I told my children that if we complete the puzzle within October, it would our offering to the Blessed Mother.
Second Daughter immediately dug out the pieces with straight edges (she is the methodical one). So far, we have this.
We also have less than two weeks left, and we are moving at an exceedingly slow pace.
After reconnecting with the Blessed Mother in October, we start November by giving honor to the saints and remembering our dear departed on two consecutive days. Isn't it amazing that the Liturgical Year is thus designed?
For me, the communion of saints is one of the most beautiful beliefs of Catholics.
For some reason, I relate Advent and Lent with cleaning. Cleaning of the deep and thorough kind. Sadly, though, I have failed in this task year in and year out.
I am praying that it will not be so this year.
Please, dear God, dear Blessed Mother, and dear Saint Anne, help us to have a decently clean house in time for Jesus' birthday. I know that it is more important to be clean inside, but just seems so proper and gratifying to have a clean house on Christmas.
But clean inside, I also hope to be.
I used to haul all the kids to monthly confession. Somehow, we fell off the practice. I would really like to bring that back.
Regular and frequent confession. That should beat all cleaning, scrubbing, and disinfecting.