Do That Which Stirs You to Love ~ Keeping a Liturgical Journal
Commonplace Faith – Could any two words seem more paradoxical?
After all, what could be more extraordinary than faith? In his letter to the Hebrews, St. Paul teaches:
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”
― Hebrews 11:1
Faith is a gift freely given, a grace poured out in abundance from a good and loving Father upon all of His children, our hope of heaven with Him.
In the sense that it is available to all, nothing could be more common.
We have only to open our hands, our hearts, our minds to receive.
With faith just as with the commonplace beauty of God bursting forth in creation, and the repetitive cycle of commonplace days, new mercies given with every rising of the sun, we stop seeing after awhile.
It seems that familiarity can breed boredom and eventually blindness follows.
As Lewis Carol laments:
I have seen so many extraordinary things, nothing seems extraordinary any more”
― Lewis Carroll
Just as the practice of commonplacing in general is awakening me to the wonder of reality, so too commonplacing my faith is opening my eyes to catch glimpses of the glory of God.
It is stirring up a passion within me to go deeper, to have the audacity to hope for holiness, and the desire to love with the intensity of the saints.
I sometimes forget that contemplating in and of itself is not the goal. Somehow commonplacing my faith is convicting and refocusing me in a way that is so desperately needed. It is helping me to live less in my head, be moved more to love. It stirs up the words I read and the meditations of my heart within me so that they might overflow into mission.
To love after all is the important thing so that we might become the saints we were created to be, souls on fire with the love of God setting the whole world ablaze.
And why not? I am convinced that we expect far too little!
C.S. Lewis asserts:
It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”
― C.S. Lewis,
And so we begin by having an expectant faith, knowing it is a powerful and awesome God we serve. He is not far off and does not remain hidden but reveals Himself in words and deeds throughout history. We seek Him in his Word, in the Sacraments, the lives and witness of His Saints, in our very hearts through prayer and meditation.
We pick up a pen and write that which inspires to remember, keep and be transformed by what God is revealing, allowing Him to work His will in our minds and hearts.
Keeping a Liturgical journal is a great way to start and is quickly becoming my favorite way to commonplace faith. I find myself meditating on the Mass readings and homilies at home more often now than ever. It is helping me pay attention to the words of Saints and feasts, enter into the Liturgical seasons, reflect on Scripture and applying it to my days.
If you have any inclination to try your hand at this method of keeping commonplace, I highly recommend it!
Join the Keeping Commonplace community on Instagram to see how others are praying in print and to share your own church journal entries under the hashtag #commonplacefaith so that we can support and encourage one another in fellowship.
*Remember, it is all about the process, not the product. Don’t be intimidated! Make it as lovely as you would like but more importantly do whatever works for you to worship the Lord.
All of my entries that relate to commonplace faith and links to additional reflections when available can be found below. They have been a tremendous blessing to me. I pray that they might be an encouragement to you.
Church journal entries from Sunday sermons and daily Mass readings
November 2016 ~
October 2016 ~
September 2016 ~