Using the Liturgical Calendar to Create a Different Kind of Climate Change

One of the goals of a catechist is to create a climate of prayer in the faith formation setting. In fact, the General Directory for Catechesis tells us that the most effective catechesis takes place within a “climate of prayer.” (GDC 85) Today, more than ever, we are keenly aware of the term climate because of the issue of climate change. Climate refers to the prevailing weather conditions in a region over a long period of […]

Teaching About the “End Times” at the End of Ordinary Time

In these last few weeks of Ordinary Time before Advent begins, we hear Scripture calling our attention to the “end times.” I’m sure you’ll agree that these Scripture passages are difficult to understand and challenging to teach. Permit me to offer a few insights. Jesus was not predicting the end of the world but the end of an “age”—a paradigm shift, if you will. Jesus’ speaking of the end times can best be understood in […]

Living the Liturgical Seasons at Home: Winter Ordinary Time

As we put away the Christmas decorations and enter Ordinary Time, things might seem just a bit drab. This isn’t just a bland waiting-period for Lent. These weeks are an opportunity to focus on the public ministry of Jesus through the readings of the new cycle’s Gospels. Ordinary Time is about spiritual growth. Just as in Ordinary Time during summer and fall, engaging in family prayer, having a home altar or a prayer centerpiece on […]

Living the Liturgical Seasons at Home: Summer/Fall Ordinary Time

The liturgical year is 365 days a year, and the season of Ordinary Time is a course of instruction in the Christian life. Ordinary Time after Pentecost and before Advent is a period when we celebrate no particular aspect of Christ, but honor him in the fullness of his mystery. (Universal Norms of the Liturgical Year, 43) We spend time with Jesus and let him be with us and in us as we grow closer […]

Five Ways to Pray with Jesus During Ordinary Time

Most catechists can easily help students visualize and pray with particular images of Jesus during the “big seasons” of the liturgical year. During Advent, Jesus is in Mary’s womb; at Christmas, he’s Baby Jesus. During Lent, Jesus is beside us in the desert; at Passiontide (the last two weeks of Lent), he’s the Suffering Servant; and at Easter, he is the Risen Christ. But what is our image of Jesus during Ordinary Time? Finding a […]

Understanding Ordinary Time

Today we once again find ourselves in Ordinary Time—at least for a month or so until Lent begins on February 10. Ordinary Time gets a bad rap, as though it is time that is easily ignored because it is so “ordinary.” First of all, we call it “ordinary” because it is “counted time,” as in “ordinal” numbers. We count time to remind ourselves that all time belongs to God. Thus, while today is January 11 […]