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Posts Tagged ‘Seasons’

fall

I am prejudiced when it comes to the four seasons — fall is my favorite.

Fall is nature at its aesthetic best, giving us a heraldic panoply of colors and scents.

But fall is traditionally a time to reflect on the reality of death, as well as being a time of beauty.

Forgive me, but I don’t think that’s an accident. (more…)

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ImbolcThe ancient Celts seem to have been acutely sensitive to the changing of the seasons.  Four major festivals marked the Celtic year: Beltane, the beginning of summer; Samhain, the beginning of the darker half of the year (autumn); Imbolc, the beginning of spring; and Lughnasadh, the time of the harvest.  And there were various myths associated with each of these seasons.

Let me now dive right into what I feel this may have been preparing people for on a subconscious level — namely, the Church’s Liturgical Calendar.

From the Mass readings that occupy different times of the year to various feasts, memorials, and saints’ days, Advent during the season leading up to the winter solstice, and Lent and Easter coinciding with the coming of spring, the Church has developed a wondrous way of lifting up our lives and our experience of natural cycles into the rhythms of the Divine Life.

In the course of the year, (…) (the Church) unfolds the whole mystery of Christ …. Thus recalling the mysteries of the redemption, she opens up to the faithful the riches of her Lord’s powers and merits, so that these are in some way made present in every age; the faithful lay hold of them and are filled with saving grace.

Sacrosanctum Concilium, quoted in CCC 1163

In the liturgical year the various aspects of the one Paschal mystery unfold. This is also the case with the cycle of feasts surrounding the mystery of the incarnation (Annunciation, Christmas, Epiphany). They commemorate the beginning of our salvation and communicate to us the first fruits of the Paschal mystery.

– CCC 1171

New Jerusalem

The point of it all is to grow closer to Christ.  And in this, we have nothing less than the mystery of time and history.  As we see in the Book of Revelation, the purpose and end of both is the great Marriage between Christ and His Bride: The Church, the People of God…the New Jerusalem.  Throughout history, Christ is continually building up His Bride in her various members, never ceasing to draw all mankind into her embrace.  It is the cosmic love story…the greatest ever told.

And I think I’ll leave it at that.  There are probably many other things I could touch upon, but I think we’ve gotten a pretty good survey of Irish culture — and of Celtic culture in general — in its openness to the Word.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day — Erin go Bragh!

Images from Wikipedia

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