January 2019 – Liturgical Living

I’ve never been super goal-oriented. In fact, I can think of one goal in my entire life that I set, worked for, and achieved (making the varsity volleyball team in high school). This isn’t to say I’m not a hard worker, I’m actually a very hard-worker… even a borderline over-achiever… but I’m not a natural goal-setter. Maybe it’s because I’m Type B… or maybe it has something to do with being a middle child… I’m not sure…

Whatever the reason, I’ve always looked at New Year’s Resolutions in the same way. Believe it or not, I’ve made it through twenty-nine years of life, never having made a single resolution before now.

This mindset shift probably has a little to do with my husband: he’s a total Type -A-go-getter. Comically, our different ways of approaching goals was the only “red-flag” we were warned about during our marriage prep. And while we definitely approach situations differently, we also see value in each other’s way of doing things… which has lead me to being more intentional in chasing after what I want (and him being a little more laid-back).

My 2019 New Year’s Resolution

… is to live liturgically. Not just going through the motions, but intentionally planning things that go along with the liturgical calendar. It’s something that I had slowly started to do at haphazard moments in 2018. Ideas for activities, outings, and meals would simply pop into my head at random. Then unexpectedly, my mom gave me Kendra Tierney’s new book, The Catholic All Year Compendium.  I read the first couple chapters and was hooked by the simplicity of it all — especially since many of her ideas were also thoughts that I myself had previously thought. Things such as, “We should celebrate our baptismal anniversaries” as well as, “It’s St. Matthew’s feast day this week (his Confirmation saint); I should let Chris pick out something nice for dinner.”

For me, it was affirmation from the Holy Spirit and since I like to write (and many of you mentioned that you like Liturgical Living posts), I thought I’d share my ideas with you. Feel free to use them, tweak them, or do something different altogether!

My Brainstorming Process

The first thing I did before the beginning of January was to open my planner and write out all the feasts we’ll be celebrating this month. If you have the Blessed is She planner, you can skip this step as they’ve already done it for you. But if you’re like me and don’t have it, you can get a lovely list of all the Catholic feasts for the month mailed directly to your inbox from Frameable Faith. The best part is– it’s free! You just have to sign up for their emails!

The second thing I did was check to see if we had any special “family feasts” in January. For us, family feasts include:

  • Baptismal Anniversaries (including our godchildren)
  • Feasts of Patron Saints (who we were named for)
  • Feasts of  Confirmation Saints

Within our immediate family (Chris, Imogene and myself), we have none of these in January. If we did, I would make sure it was included in the calendar.

Third, I looked at the feasts throughout the month, and made plans based solely on things that immediately popped into my head. I’m not looking to make this process complicated. I’m sure I’ll get more ideas over the years, but for now, this is what my brain came up with.

My January Plans

These are the few ideas I had. As I said, they were completely off-the-cuff. If you have any other ideas or traditions — especially for those feasts where I have nothing planned — please share them with me in the comments!

  • Jan. 1: Solemnity of Mary — Imogene and I wore blue in honor of Our Lady. We had blueberry pancakes before going to Mass. For dinner I planned a “Greek Hash” – a quick recipe consisting of rice, sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, chicken, feta cheese, & Greek salad dressing. I didn’t end up making it (we got home too late, were tired and decided to go with leftovers instead), but I’m thinking about renaming the recipe as “Theotokos Hash” in her honor (too much?)
  • Jan. 2: St. Basil — kept it real simple and made some Basil chicken for dinner.
  • Jan. 3: Most Holy Name of Jesus — I’ll be spending a large amount of my time working on a writing project that has a lot to do with the significance of names… more to be revealed about this later (I hope).
  • Jan. 4: St. Elizabeth Ann Seaton — I’ll be saying extra prayers for my sister Leigh as St. Elizabeth Ann Seaton is one of her patronesses!
  • Jan. 5: St. John Neumann
  • Jan. 6: Epiphany I thought about chalking our door in the traditional manner… but we’re still renting and I don’t feel like having to scrub it off the wall later. There are also many cool European traditions that have a lot to do with different kinds of cake… hiding crowns inside them and such… but Chris doesn’t have any sort of a sweet tooth and I have a whole mouth of sweet teeth… any cake I make while be eaten by me and me alone. Most likely, we’ll just keep this simple and move the wisemen into our Nativity scene. Maybe we’ll take our Christmas decorations down… (though I might leave them up until the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple next month)
  • Jan. 13: Baptism of the Lord
  • Jan. 17: St. Anthony of the Desert
  • Jan. 21: St. Agnes — I’ll be saying extra prayers for my sister Mary as ‘Agnes’ is her confirmation name
  • Jan. 23: St. Vincent
  • Jan. 24: St. Francis deSales — (he’s one of my favorites! but I can’t think of a way to celebrate his feast… if you have any ideas, please share! In the meantime, if you aren’t familiar with Claire & Mike Couche and their blog Finding Philothea, you should take a few minutes and do some reading. I love all the wisdom they share and their blog name was inspired by the writings of St. Francis deSales)
  • Jan. 25: Conversion of St. Paul
  • Jan. 26: Sts. Timothy & Titus
  • Jan. 28: St. Thomas Aquinas — since Aquinas was such a learned man and incredibly high-minded, I don’t feel like I can let this feast pass me by without doing some intentional spiritual reading in the evening. I also wrote a blog post about his intercession for those who are struggling with chastity– it will be published on Blessed is She’s blog on this day if you wanted to check it out.
  • Jan. 31: St. John Bosco

That’s it. That’s all I got. Nothing super special, creative, or exciting yet… but I’m hoping to continue to see fruits from these small attempts at living intentionally and liturgically.

How does your Catholic family party through January? Teach me your ways!

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