Where are we now in the Liturgical Year?

First, let's answer a question that some of you may have about this blog..."Why do you post both old and new calendars?" For the uninitiated, the new calendar, along with its feasts, is the one that has been in effect for about the last 50 years...and the old is the one before that, going WAY back.

I post both because both are valid and respectable in the Roman Catholic Church. I believe the gap between the old and new is becoming more and more unacceptable, difficult, sad, awkward and untenable. We need to start bridging the gap. Instead of existing in one camp or another, we need people who can occupy both sides and work toward unity. I consider myself one on those people....on the cutting edge!

However, you will see an emphasis here on the traditional (if you're not sure what I'm talking about, its probably the trad). This all began when I attended my first Tridentine Mass at the age of 21, when it became more widely celebrated due to the papal pronouncement (1988). I cried. I cried because I saw for the first time all that I had been deprived of for 21 years. I felt the presence of countless angels at that glorious Holy Mass at Saint Agnes Church in New York City, as I knelt and wept. This was Archbishop Fulton Sheen's church at one time-a church attended by my own mother and grandmother as well. If you don't know what I mean, go to a Tridentine Mass (preferably a "high" Mass, for full effect). If you still don't see it, I don't know how to help you.

So, while I respect the new, I simply prefer the old. And I think the old ways can be of great spiritual benefit for every Catholic. "Mainstream" Catholics would do well to attend an old Mass once in a while and trad Catholics would do well to exercise some humility, stop judging and reach out to the "Novus Ordo" Catholics, many of whom are simply confused about the Faith. The moral seismic quake which tore apart western civilization in the mid 20th century, somehow seems to have done the same to the Church. The new need the old and the old need the new because they complete us somehow...they are our brothers and sisters.

And now, to the topic at hand...

In the new...we are in "Ordinary Time" as of the Feast of Our Lord's Baptism, this past Sunday-this extends until Lent.

In the old...we are in "Time After Epiphany" as of the Feast of the Holy Family, also this past Sunday-this extends until Septuagesima Sunday, 2 1/2 weeks before Lent.

Father Alfred Delp told us about Advent....a time of waiting and preparing ourselves, making ourselves worthy to enter into the joyful Season of Christmastide. But what are we to contemplate now? Preparation for Lent? That is what the Season of Septuagesima is for. Perhaps it is something of a respite. This liturgical time gives us a bit of rest from the rigors of "The Mystery of the Incarnation," preparing us for the new rigors of "The Mystery of the Redemption."

As for the Sunday Gospels of this time, the Church teaches us of Christ's Ministry in Galilee-in both the old and new. So now is an ideal time to brush up on the Gospels, our primary "Instruction Manual of Life."