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The Liturgical Year by Joan Chittister (Thomas Nelson, 2009) is a fresh look at the traditional church calendar and the role it can have in helping people grow in faith and spiritual maturity. Sister Joan is a Benedictine nun, but her writing on this topic is accessible to anyone of Christian faith. This is not a stuffy, "how-to" book! The traditional seasons, feasts, and fasts are presented with a thoughtful explanation of the motivation behind the celebrations. Sister Joan captures the beauty of these religious observances and gently reveals how they can lead a Christ-follower to greater depth in our walk with Jesus.
My background is not Catholic (I come from an evangelical, holiness church) but I enjoyed this book! I knew a little about the liturgical year before reading, but now have a deep appreciation for the richness of this heritage. There is great mystery and wonder in participating with The Church that is centuries old! The traditions, often looked upon as "ritualistic" and "empty" by those outside of the Catholic faith, actually have deep meaning and, if entered thoughtfully, can inspire growth in our devotion to Jesus. Reading this book was just in time for Advent, and has sparked my interest in following the liturgical scripture readings as part of my own celebration of Christmas this year. While I found the opening few chapters to be redundant, once she began the discussion of the seasons I found it a rewarding read. This is a book I will keep and reference throughout the year!
I am a book reviewer for Thomas Nelson Book Review Bloggers.