Friday, January 29, 2010

An Answer for Why We Go to Church, Why We Live a Liturgical Year

I can't resist posting this quote from Joan Chittister's The Liturgical Year, another one of the books in the Ancient Practices series from publisher Thomas Nelson: "We do not live a liturgical life to look good to other people. We do not develop a liturgical spirituality to affect a kind of spiritual dimension to our lives. And we certainly do not go to Mass regularly to avoid hell."

I especially like what she says next: "We live a liturgical life in order to become like the One whom we follow from the manger to the Mount of Olives. We live a liturgical life to learn to think like He thinks. To do what He would do. To make Him the center of our lives--not our work or our money or our status" (179).

I have non-church going friends who would then ask, "Couldn't you do that on your own, at home, in the quiet of your study or living room?"

Maybe I could. But I doubt that I would. I'm easily distracted. I can hardly remember to pray the Liturgy of the Hours. Could I remember to create all the other liturgical elements on my own, in my home?

Plus, humans were created for community. Very few of us have what it takes to be hermits. We need to be around people, especially people who have our values, in a world that doesn't value us or our beliefs very often.

Chittister sums it up well: "Liturgical spirituality is about learning to live an ordinary life extraordinarily well" (179).

1 comment:

Mrs. M said...

I like it-- so that our rhythms are his rhythms.

Thanks for thinking of me.

Have you heard Sr. Chittister's interview with Krista Tippett (Speaking of Faith)? It's WONDERFUL.