Hi LIGHT Friends,
We began our LIGHT year in September looking at ‘seasons’ and talking about how they help to bring balance and order to our lives: both liturgical seasons and those defined for us by turning the pages of our agenda books. I’ve been thinking about that lately as we are deep into what we call “the Birthday season” here Francoeur-land. We have over 15 birthdays in our extended family in a six week span. Two of those belong to my daughters. I suppose you could also say it’s the season of expanding waistbands as we devour cake after cake! But, bakery items aside, it is a wonderful time because it allows us to take a day and really focus in on each individual who is commemorating the anniversary of his or her birth. Maddey and Ellie love their birthday seasons and are more than happy to have us concentrate our attention on them!
As each girl’s day approaches, I step back and think about who she “is” at this point in her life: what she loves, what she needs, her talents, her dreams, her desires. This allows me to figure out what her special day should include. Is this a year for a party? A special outing? What are the gifts that would bring a smile to her face? Who needs to be included in her celebration this year? It’s a gift to be able to take the time to look hard at the child who you have been blessed with and be able to see how they are growing and what that means in your life and in theirs. Life is busy and time passes by quickly. It is a benefit of the season to be reminded to pause and appreciate what is in front of you every day.
This season of Maddey’s life is focused on her love of music and dance and beginning to prepare to leave our nest in two short years. So my 16 year old got a dream trip to New York City to see her rock and roll idol in concert. Our mother-daughter trip included a concert, shopping, sight-seeing, eating, a Selfie with Al Roker, and her first college visit. We celebrated Maddey-style, doing the things that are important to her. It was a memory that we will both cherish for a lifetime.
Ellie on the other hand is in the midst of a season where she is discovering who she is. Turning nine, she is busy exploring her passions and talents. Her celebration reflected her love of her family, dogs, and of questioning WHY! A day in Boson at the Museum of Science, culminated with dinner in the North End with some her favorite people fit the bill. The museum and an Italian dinner in the North End are places that Ellie’s older siblings had experienced numerous times by her age, but she had never done either and ended up loving every minute of it. The trip was a wonderful way to remember seasons past, while making a new memory for and with the youngest of our family.
There are many other times in our lives when we have seasons that allow us to focus in on a particular person with a magnifying glass to recall memories, to relive adventures, to appreciate what was, what is, and what can be. Some are good, some are happy, some are hard, and some are sad: births, deaths, new houses, new jobs, sickness, marriage, childhood, retirement… Each one allows us a time in our lives to appreciate, to celebrate, to remember, and to grow. That is what our Church Year calendar does for our faith.
The Liturgical seasons give us the opportunities to look at the life of Christ and focus in on his memories which are still alive for us today. Every year, we have the opportunity to relive and remember his birth, his ministry, his prayer, his death, his resurrection, and his presence that is with us to this day. Each season has a tone that helps us prepare for these events which are brought alive for us in the Word that we hear at Mass. We prepare in Advent and reflect and repent in Lent. We celebrate during Christmas and Easter. We have days when we recall the Spirit that Jesus left for us and days when we remember the saints who were so good at keeping Christ at the center of their lives. The liturgical calendar give us many opportunities to explore our faith more closely with a magnifying glass and to recall memories, to relive adventures, to appreciate what was, what is, and what can be.
During this month’s LIGHT Gatherings we will focus in on the lives of the saints and see how virtue shaped their lives. We’ll look at their memories and their adventures and begin to appreciate how we have their experience to draw on during every season of the liturgical year. Their memories can help us live life like they learned to, with a focus on Christ.
Looking forward to seeing you there!
Until then, enjoy the season!