Growing up I took our rhythms and habits of living for granted. After the non-negotiables of Sunday mass and school were other habits that shaped and structured our time and our dynamic of family life. Things like set bedtimes, Legion of Mary meetings on Saturday mornings, soup and sandwich lunches on Sundays, family rosaries on Sunday nights always centered round a little home altar glowing in candlelight. Constants (with room enough for a healthy dose of spontaneity) that my siblings and I rarely gave a thought about (in fact, which I often fought against) but which we depended on and gave us our own little rule of life.
And when I was in college, I was always thinking of the future and dreaming about what perfection my little domestic church would consist of. How many more rituals, rhythms, and habits would make up our lives than even the ones I grew up with. I hoped for a well-ordered, holy home lived in accordance with the Church calendar though I had only a vague conception of how that would happen.
And imagine my surprise to find it hasn’t just organically happened on its own. Jumping from college into marriage and motherhood finds me with one foot still in a world where bedtimes and waketimes spin on a random wheel of fortune. Where schedules are loose and often created on the fly. A world where time, largely free to be divided up and used in whatever way I saw fit, was underappreciated.
Enter this new world of interdependence with other humans (and total dependence for one small human). It’s a world that demands structure or else collapses into chaos.
So here I am caught in the collision of these two worlds and am far too concerned with surviving the hell that is the all-day serial catnap to even think about structuring and planning meals, prayers, and other activities harmoniously around the current liturgical season.
But! I have hope that someday we’ll get our act halfway together. And in the meantime I’m putting together a little posting series on my hopes for living out each liturgical season.
I’m going to try to tackle it by category. Praying, working, eating, wearing, enjoying etc…all those daily habits that we can consciously conform to an intentional philosophy for living or may haphazardly control us. I’m sure, as per usual, I’ll have idealistic and unattainable visions, but I can’t stop, won’t stop with those.
So coming up later this week: Lent.