Liturgical Living: Feast of Epiphany Birthday Party for Jesus

Yesterday was the Feast of Epiphany.  The Roman Church has a week of Christmas left before we enter back into Ordinary Time.  The ladies who help me run the Sanctity of Life Committee at our parish and I decided to host a Birthday Party for Jesus.  We needed to collect crisis pregnancy items and what better way than to ask the families of the parish to bring a gift to Baby Jesus? This is the Sunday we celebrate the Magi bringing gifts to Our King, so it is a perfect day for a party.  We had the Knights of Columbus provide food and the Women’s Club helped us decorate.  We were all nervous about how it would go, and by the grace of God, it was a hit.

We were able to collect a lot of items for our local Catholic Charities and we had a great time celebrating the birth of Our Savior.  We played musical chairs, Pin-the-Tail on Mary and Joseph’s Donkey, the clothes pin game, and had crafts.  Plus, there were lots of cupcakes and our priest even won a round of musical chairs!  This is a great way to remind Catholics that we are still celebrating Christmas.  It did not end on December 26th.  It is also a great event to use as a fundraiser, especially helping babies and moms in need.  This is another way to live liturgically.  You can have a birthday party at home or start one in your parish.  Merry Christmas!

P.S. I am slowing moving into blogging regularly again.  I have a few columns to write for that I need to finish and then I can get back into a regular routine.







Liturgical New Year’s Resolutions


Happy New Year! The Church has begun a new liturgical year. We are now into the First Week of Advent as we await the coming of our Savior. During Mass yesterday I started to think about how silly I think New Year’s Resolutions can be. They are yet another way to drive consumerism. It is the time of diet books and gym memberships. But, what about spiritual resolutions?

As Catholics, do we fully appreciate a New Year in the Church? We once again are waiting in joyful hope for Our Lord’s coming on the Feast of the Nativity. We are always waiting for Jesus’s Second Coming, but many of us do not think about it in our daily lives. That is one of the beautiful reminders we hear during Advent. Soon we will be in Lent and then the Sacred Triduum that leads us into the great Feast of Easter. The Church lives in a rhythm that follows the life of Christ. It teaches us how to fully live out our vocations.

As I sat in Mass thinking about a fresh start liturgically, it made me think about some spiritual resolutions for this coming year. Have you ever created resolutions for your spiritual life? The Year of Faith taught us to do this and Advent is a great time to start.

First, I want my husband and I to work on our prayer life as a family with our daughter. We used to be really good about a family Rosary in the evening, but the first couple of years of parenting have put that on the back burner. I now pray my daily Rosary on my own. Usually it is when I let Michaela play in the bathtub, during nap time, or walking around the yard as she plays. She sees me pray often throughout the day, but I want her to participate in prayer with Phil and me. It will also strengthen our marriage to pray together each day.

Second, I want to study more this year. I started reading Blessed John Paul II’s Crossing the Threshold of Hope. It is amazing! It has been a few years since I have read any of his books, but it reminded me of just how much I want to learn and study.

Third, I want to get a regular prayer schedule going. When I try to fit in Lauds, Vespers, a Rosary, and Scripture, I inevitably end up forgetting about one of them. I need to set different parts of my day aside for each one. Obviously Lauds should be the first thing that I do in the morning. Perhaps read Scripture with lunch. Do Vespers before my husband gets home from work, and then we can all pray a Rosary together after dinner. It is definitely something that I want to work on this year. One of the many things I love about becoming a Dominican is its regimented prayer requirements. I need order so that I can achieve discipline.

What are some things that you would like to change spiritually in your life? Think of a few resolutions for you to live out in this liturgical year and remember to take some time to appreciate the beautiful season of Advent, even though Christmas is everywhere. God bless.