dwelling on the liturgical year | INFJ Forum

dwelling on the liturgical year

Discussion in 'Philosophy and Religion' started by beetpoet, Apr 3, 2010.

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  1. beetpoet

    beetpoet Community Member

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    i was having a phone conversation with a catholic relative today and she was on her way out the door to church and i realized it was good friday. it's strange that i am so much on the sidelines of the christian holidays these days.

    when i was growing up i was a very devotional kid, and i think i needed the constancy and ceremony of the liturgical year. the church seasons with their accompanying artistry and ceremony. there was a richness and wealth to it. there were days for celebrating inspiration (pentecost) and days for contemplating loss and sacrifice (good friday)

    i thought of easter as a time when those precious, hidden, lost areas of one's soul could have a chance at resurrection.

    i still remember my awe in having my first communion at eight years old, understanding that we were receiving jesus on the anniversary of the time he first offered himself as spiritual nourishment for his friends and for the world.

    these things kept me going as a young child in a household with domestic violence and abuse.

    i still feel nature's liturgy as a lacksidaisical pagan. after all, i believe the christian year was built upon the more ancient earth year. my admiration for the love and storytelling of jesus has never fallen away, though i have ambivelence about christianity.

    anyway, just some thoughts

    i am curious about how life seemed for those who didn't grow up within a liturgical tradition?

    or others who did and no longer celebrate the seasons within an established church..

    or any other thoughts people have..
     
  2. randomsomeone

    randomsomeone Well-known member

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    Actually, I think elements of pagan traditions and elements of Christian tradition naturally belong together.....simply because they are based on a cosmic sense of "what is." The seperation of the two in many respects is artificial...largely (I think) due to the influence of a Roman world view (got to be civilized, right?).

    I actually operate in both calendars quite freely....I adore the Liturgical seasons. For me it represents a chance to be somewhat free of the commercial noise that I live in, a way to reorient myself to something inside that I value. I tend to gravitate strongly towards the sacred anyway....what's not to love in a whole parallel calendar! The more I have studied and experienced over the years of faith, the more rich and meaningful the simple, tactile symbols and signs of the seasons have become. In a sense we move full circle with these things, over and over and over.
     
    #2 randomsomeone, Apr 3, 2010
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  3. Jana

    Jana Searching...

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    Yes, way of liturgy can put person in special mood. It is important to me, not because of tradition, but because of finding balance and centre. Liturgy on Thursday, Friday and Saturday before Easter is something special. All that words and tons that keep us connected with people from across the centuries in time that celebrate that days in much similar ways...
     
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  4. randomsomeone

    randomsomeone Well-known member

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    There are times in the year that are also structured for searching and inner renewal. I like these times, too, and have found them to be very useful and enjoyable...they tend to lend a particular focus that helps. Some years I am more engaged than others, but over time I find I really look forward to these. One recent example in my own tradition, Lent, can seem pretty trivial when one considers the minium "guidelines" and legalese and all that (all of which are highly negotiable really). For example, not eating meat on Friday makes no real difference objectively....except for this: it is a simple act of solidarity, a setting aside of my own control and agenda and adopting another based on the action of my community. Inwardly, this is a wonderful thing to do now and then...and is so, so simple. This can also be a small act of "mindfullness", of stopping, of remembering. All or any of these can be a benefit, yet often the triviality of the action overshadows the range of inner dynamics a person may focus upon...and everybody processes these things diffferently year by year, depending on where we are at the moment. It's all good. I had a friend who this year felt an inner invitation to turn off all her gadgets for the past few days....laptop, internet, ipod, radio (and trust me, this girl is into the gadgets). Anyway, she was overwhelmed at what she found in that wonderful silence, and in her journey it was the right time and place to dive into this....all she needed was that little nudge. Beautiful.

    Anyway, it is interesting that other spiritual traditions use cycles in the calendar in similar fashion, although perhaps for different reasons/purposes. I think these calendar-based circles have much to teach us as the years of our lives progress and as we engage year by year in many diverse ways. Personally, I think it is very healthy cultural construct to encounter and partake of.
     
  5. Barnabas

    Barnabas Time Lord

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    I like and dislike the holiday season. I love the feeling and the vibes I get from people who seem to just be genuinely nice, I hat the fact that people seem to only act like this during the holidays. If you acting extragood through easter because of it's meaning then you should know that you need to act like this all year long.
     
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  6. Flavus Aquila

    Flavus Aquila Finding My Place in the Sun
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    The hardships of the Penitential seasons make the Holy Seasons (Holydays) all the more joyful.

    A good balance.

    Same goes for the natural seasons - Spring wouldn't seem as refreshing if the climate stayed that way all year round - After a long Autmn and Winter the first green buds seem so juicy and alive.
     
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  7. Barnabas

    Barnabas Time Lord

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    this made think of cursing the heat and then complaing about the rain.
     
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    beetpoet

    beetpoet Community Member

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    you express this so eloquently. i think living in this world with its seasonal changes is one of the deepest meaning-making things of life. and i like celebrating the ongoing circle too.
     
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    beetpoet

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    even though i'm no longer catholic i do like to observe lent. for the same reasons you mentioned. an opportunity to re-focus on social justice and small personal acts that keep me mindful of the wider world.
     
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    beetpoet

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    that made me laugh. i live in western washington state and it seems like the topic here is always the weather. once we finally get through the rain people are overwhelmed when the sun comes out. : )

    i do like the idea that the liturgical seasons focus on a particular aspect and then allow the dawning of a new feeling or spiritual aspect in its time..
     
  11. randomsomeone

    randomsomeone Well-known member

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    Nice!!! In the sense that "catholic" means "universal", I think there is a place for extracting these things from their formal denominational identity and placing them more in a context that really relates to all people in all times. "The 40 Days" (Lent) relates to the wanderings of the Isrealites in search of a Promised Land...a destination and place of belonging and connection to the Divine. Do we not journey on a similar path in life? Jesus' 40 days of temptation in the desert involved a personal struggle with those things which do (and do not) connect is with our life's ultimate purpose, distinguishing between that which is illusion and that which is not. Do not we all walk along this path, too, each in our own way? These stories belong to us all, not just to one group, and are part of the human journey we all share. Even the death of Christ and the Resurrection....are we not all invited to live our lives as healers...offering forgiveness and service to others? Do we all not need to die to our fears and limitations and be recreated, reawakened to a more connected way of living? I suggest that the lessons of these Seasons, while formally embraced in some religious communities, really carry lessons that extend to all of humanity and therefore it rightfully belongs to us all.
     

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