About this time every year when I was a boy, my mother would put up on the kitchen door the calendar we got from church. She marked down the anniversaries of family deaths and birthdays and other celebrations coming along, and she added other dates as the days passed. The pictures on the calendar interested me most then. When we put up the calendar, we were ready for the days ahead.
The calendar’s still a good way to get ready for the days ahead. “Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain wisdom of heart,” one of the psalms says.
Our calendars today may be on our computers instead of the kitchen door. They’ve also changed in a number of ways since the Second Vatican Council. For one thing, our church calendars today list the scripture readings read at Mass for the weekdays and Sundays throughout the year. They open the treasures of our faith for us.
Our calendars alert us to the main feasts and seasons, Christmas and Easter, advent and lent, celebrated by the whole church throughout the year. The general calendar also lists the days for celebrating saints honored the world over, such as Mary, the Mother of Jesus, the apostles, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Theresa of Avila and others.
The council left countries and regions to decide on some celebrations of their own. In our particular calendar here in the United States, for example, we celebrate Thanksgiving Day and American saints like St. Elizabeth Seton, St. Elizabeth Cabrini and St. John Neumann.
The calendar’s still a good way to keep our lives in order, not only doctors’ and social appointments, birthdays and anniversaries, but our spiritual lives as well. They go together. We’re meant to live from day to day, from feast to feast, and be formed by the mysteries of Christ, his saints and the scriptures.
Every Sunday evening I try to publish the week’s calendar on my blog: http://www.vhoagland.com
It’s my kitchen door. Through the week I reflect on the feasts and seasons and saints on that blog. The calendar’s a teacher helping us to “number our days aright.” It’s our daily catechism.