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Story—what is your story?

In his video for session one of the The Bible Timeline: The Story of Salvation, Jeff Cavins talks about the importance of finding the story in scripture, because that story is our story as well. We were all written by God—by virtue of our very being—into the story of salvation. And that story followed a plan—a plan for salvation. But God’s plans for salvation did not end with the coming of Christ, nor with His death and Resurrection. You and I, indeed every person on the face of the earth, are also part of God’s plan for salvation. And in our brief time on earth, I believe God wants us to try to participate in that plan, and to better understand the role He has chosen for us to play.

And so how do we begin? As Catholics, we have oh so many choices, but of course we always begin first where He tells us to begin. “Do this is memory of me” (Luke 22:19), He tells His Disciples at the Last Supper in the Upper Room, and so we do. We begin with the Liturgical Life in the Church, in the Mass, in the Sacraments, in her cycle of readings, in her prayers, feasts, fasts, solemnities, and celebrations. And if we never do more than participate in and live out our faith in the Sacramental Life of the Church, we can surely still become saints. God has given us all the necessary
graces to do so, but I would gently suggest that there can be so much more to life.

Imagine you are trying to transform your health and you read all you can read on improving your health, you talk to your healthy, well-informed friends, you even join a gym to help keep you on track with a healthier lifestyle—but no part of your actual day-in-day-out life at home changes. Your diet has not changed, your less-than-healthy habits have not changed, and you are not incorporating all that reading and discussion into any actual real change at home. How great will be the effect of those trips to the gym? How long will you be able to sustain the effort to go to the gym if you know you’re only going to eat junk food when you go home? In short, how much can one hour a day—or even just one hour a week—transform your life? And yet far too many people expect that just one hour a week at Mass should be enough of a commitment to their faith to have some effect, to make some difference in their lives. It works no better for your health life than it does for your faith life. There needs to be more!

So, I can tend to over-commit, get overwhelmed, and then do all kinds of things poorly. And while I take great comfort in G.K. Chesterton’s quote, “Anything worth doing is worth doing badly,” sometimes I just would like to aim a wee bit higher. Friends, I give you the Liturgical Year! Enjoy as much or as little as you like, add a feast here, a recipe there, a prayer one day, a craft or movie the next, and before you know it, oftentimes through the smallest of efforts, you are walking with the Church through the Liturgical Year. Which brings us full circle back ‘round to the story of salvation history. Because of course that is precisely what the Church’s Liturgical Year is—a year of walking with the Lord through His life, death, and resurrection. And I believe Our Lord wants to invite all of us to enter more deeply into His Life’s story, and in so doing we will enter more deeply into the life-plan that He has ready and waiting for all of us. My life, and the life of my family, has been immensely blessed by our ever-increasing participation in the Liturgical Year of the Church. I have no doubt yours will be as well! I am encouraged in my efforts by a friend (perhaps not quite as quotable nor nearly as well-known as Chesterton) who likes to exhort people to “Go do your lousy best!” Friends, God has a plan for each of our lives, and He wants to gives us the grace to fulfill that plan. I believe there is grace in abundance to be found in living out the Church Calendar both in Church (of course!) and in our homes and communities. Let’s go do our lousy best!