Give Us This Day: Catholic Calendars Are a Reminder of God's Presence in Everyday Life. (Practicing Catholic)

By McGrath, Tom | U.S. Catholic, May 2002 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Give Us This Day: Catholic Calendars Are a Reminder of God's Presence in Everyday Life. (Practicing Catholic)


McGrath, Tom, U.S. Catholic


CATHOLICS BELIEVE IN THE INCARNATION, THE doctrine that says God became flesh and dwelt among us. Approached cerebrally, I find that bit of dogma is darn near unfathomable. It's much better to sneak up on this mystery through life's incarnational experiences--like the family calendar.

I remember the Catholic calendar we had in my home when I was growing up. It hung in our kitchen, next to the phone. In pen, pencil, and even crayon, important dates and occasions were scrawled among the feasts, holidays, and holy days. I remember that our life could hardly be contained in those neat boxes, and our scribbling overflowed into the margins.

That family calendar taught me several important spiritual lessons. Flipping through the months showed how the year was color-coded--with Lent tinted pale purple, Advent a rose-colored hue, feast days gleaming bright red, and Fridays and other selected days sporting a morose green fish.

There was a sense that the year didn't just happen, it was planned. Some grand designer had a sense of what should happen when. The days turned into weeks, the weeks into months, and there was intelligence and design behind it all. Like the phases of the moon that were plotted out in shades of red each month, the color-coded seasons spoke of a regularity that could be relied on and lived by.

Another spiritual lesson came from the illustrations. Some years the calendars would be illustrated with religious art. If we were lucky, the calendar producer used classic oil paintings and we got an aesthetic education as well as religious, getting our first taste of Carravaggio, Tintoretto, Fra Angelico, and Rafael. Other years it would be an extreme stretch to call the illustrations "art," but even those stiff and wooden portrayals of Jesus with the apostles, teaching, healing, suffering, and dying, were intriguing.

Some years the calendar was sent as a thank you by some missionary order, and so the colorful photos would show exotic locations depicting people from around the globe.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Give Us This Day: Catholic Calendars Are a Reminder of God's Presence in Everyday Life. (Practicing Catholic)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?