In my new book, Practice Makes Catholic: Moving from a Learned Faith to a Lived Faith (Loyola Press), I talk about keeping time the Catholic way. In other words, by paying attention to the liturgical calendar, we remind ourselves that time itself is sacramental, revealing the presence of God in each moment.
I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase that a person “is living on borrowed time.” We use this peculiar phrase when referring to someone who seems to have cheated death. I say “peculiar” because the phrase implies that the rest of us are living on our time, time that belongs to us. In Catholic thinking, there is no such thing as our own time. We believe that all time belongs to God. In fact, at the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday, which is the centerpiece of the Church year, the priest prays these words as he blesses the Easter candle:
“Christ yesterday and today, the beginning and the end, Alpha and Omega; all time belongs to him, and all the ages; to him be glory and power through every age for ever.”
All of us are living on borrowed time, all the time. The Church’s liturgical calendar is a reminder to us that all time belongs to God. And so, we do not identify days simply by the month of the year and the day of the week but in relation to events in the lives of Jesus, his mother Mary, and the saints who follow him.
With that in mind, I thought I’d share with you something that I just discovered this morning (maybe it’s already “old hat” for some of you with more tech savvy!). It’s the E-Ordo from Resource Publications – a liturgical year for electronic calendars. I downloaded it into my Outlook and it appears in my Outlook calendar, showing me what day of the liturgical year we are celebrating each day. When you click on that info, it opens up like an Outlook event, showing you more details. For example, here’s what it shows for today, Monday, April 4:
Saint Isidore, bishop and doctor of the Church
Isaiah 65:17-21/Psalm 30:2 and 4, 5-6, 11-12a and 13b/John 4:43-54 Hours: Seasonal weekday, Sanctoral: Common of pastors or of doctors (Commemoration of saint per Directives #4, if during Lent)
It also synced beautifully with my Droid so that when I’m on the train each morning checking my calendar for the day, I’ll be reminded of what day it is according to “God’s time!” The nice thing is, you can download the previous liturgical year (2010) for free just to see how the whole things looks/works before you purchase the current year ($19.95). This is a nice tool for catechists to keep us aware of the Church’s liturgical calendar so that we in turn can share this info with those we teach.