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During Advent, I was sent a copy of The Feasts by Cardinal Donald Wuerl and Mike Aquilina to review for Blogging for Books. This title promises to help the reader embrace the liturgical year. Curious about what I thought? Read on for my thoughts…
About The Feasts by Cardinal Donald Wuerl and Mike Aquilina
Every day is a holiday in the Catholic Church. In their latest collaboration, Cardinal Wuerl and Mike Aquilina examine the history and traditions behind both favorite and forgotten holidays, from Christmas to Easter, from the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity to the Feast of the Holy Angels
Catholic faith is festive, and the Catholic faithful count their days by celebrating the mysteries of Jesus’ life. There is a message to be found in the passing of days, weeks, and seasons. Through the feasts, ordinary Christians learn the life of Christ, share it, and come to imitate it.
This book continues the work the authors began in their books The Mass and The Church, exploring the meaning and purpose of the most basic and beloved aspects of Catholic life. Each chapter uncovers the biblical origins and development of one of the great feasts or fasts — Advent, Epiphany, the Holy Angels, all the Marian feasts, and even this very day. The calendar can be a catechism for Catholics who know how to live it.
“The feasts form us,” write the authors, “They help to make us and remake us according to the pattern of the life of Jesus Christ. We number our days as we walk in his footsteps, from his birth to his baptism, from his passion to his resurrection, from his Ascension to his sending of the Spirit to make us saints. We do this faithfully every year, and it defines us as who we are.”
My Thought on The Feasts by Cardinal Donald Wuerl and Mike Aquilina
First off, if you are looking for a lot of ‘how to celebrate’ ideas, this is NOT the book for you. Instead, you are treated to more of a history of several Feast days celebrated by the Catholic Church. As someone who likes to learn more about the history of traditions, this book definitely fills that need. Early on in the book, readers are treated to a definition of the different ‘feasts’ in the Church’s calendar. These include Sunday (the Lord’s Day which outranks pretty much everything else), Solemnities, Feasts, Memorials, and Weekdays.
Something that I did appreciate is the chapter titled “Today” which talks about the ordinary days of the year. Thirty-three weeks of the year are spent in Ordinary Time for Catholics. However, this time is not meant to be seen as just a place holder for the seasons of Advent, Christmas, Easter and Lent. Rather, it is called Ordinary because the time is ordered (numbered) and can serve as a wonderful reminder that Christ dwells among us as we mark our lives by the ordinary or mundane aspects of each day.
What reading through this book has done for me is awaken a desire to read the other titles (The Mass and The Church ) to further my personal catechesis.
How do you embrace the liturgical year in your home?
Does embracing the different ‘feasts’ help you grow in relationship to Christ?
I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.