We have one chance to live this life. Let’s not get distracted.
It is important to celebrate with your loved ones…regularly. And it is important to have traditions within the family circle.
Although this article is not talking about religious traditions necessarily, it IS talking about the beauty of lovely traditions we can pass on to our family in our every day life. Our children will naturally continue this legacy. And for we Catholics, rich in the traditions of the Faith, we can incorporate these religious traditions into our more “secular” traditions as well!
For instance, our tradition has been to have a day of celebration with the family once a week. We invite selective friends to celebrate with us. It usually lands on a Sunday which is a good day to celebrate, wouldn’t you say?
We start the evening off with the Family Rosary. Whether it is said outside among the delight of the flowers, or inside with our lovely home altar, there are a good swarm of us who together repeat the beloved prayers of Our Lady’s Rosary.
After the rosary and before we eat, I get my hand bell, and, with me chiming in the background, we say the Angelus, all genuflecting at “And the Word was made Flesh…”
After dinner, games are played, usually outdoors unless the weather doesn’t permit. Then everyone goes home and looks forward to….our next celebration! What a beautiful way to share with friends and family….fully Catholic, fully wholesome and with lots of laughter!
And now…two cents from Emilie Barnes…with pictures first of our last couple Sunday potlucks…
Let’s party,” say the commercials. And I say “amen!” Not to loudness and drinking and carousing, of course, but to the kind of celebrations that brighten our every days and flavor our special times with joy.
The beauty of home is comprised of so many things – order, order, serenity, creativity, warmth, welcome. But surely the spirit of celebration also adds its special touch – the abiding joy and contagious laughter that say, “I’m glad I’m here. I’m glad you’re here. And I’m really glad we’re in this together.”
Christians, especially, have reason to make the spirit of celebration a trademark of our lives.
What a wonderful reason to infuse our homes and our lives with joyful sounds, happy gatherings, and heartfelt smiles… the God-given, life-enhancing enhancing secret of celebration
Laughter is a definite part of any time of celebration – a gift of God that brightens good days and lightens rough ones. Laughter even has a healing quality to it. People have recovered from serious diseases by learning to laugh each day. Even more people have regained the courage to go on in painful circumstances when they were able to laugh.
Proverbs 17:22 says that a cheerful heart is good medicine. Laughter can draw others to you and lighten your load in life. When you begin to laugh at life and at yourself, you gain new perspective on your struggles. You begin to see a speck of light at the end of the tunnel.
A life without laughter quickly becomes a breeding ground for depression, physical illness, and a critical spirit. But a laughter-filled life unleashes the benefits of celebration.
“Again!” The toddler giggled with delight as I hid my face once more behind my hands. I giggled too, enjoying the moment of discovery – the instance when my new little granddaughter daughter first began celebrating tradition.
At its simplest level, isn’t that why traditions are begun? We experience something good and joyful and meaningful, and we want to do it again. And why not? Repeating our good experiences is one way we begin to learn, to make sense of our lives.
Think how hard our lives would be if we had to invent them all over again every day. Think of all the energy we would waste, all the mistakes we would repeat, all the remembered joy we would lose, all the loneliness we would feel, if we were forced to start from scratch without the ability to say to ourselves, “I like this; this is meaningful – let’s do it again.”
Tradition is so much more, though, than the simple urge to repeat a pleasant experience. Tradition helps us keep our feet on the ground. It helps us feel the connection between where we have been and where we are going, between those who have gone before us and those who follow after.
There’s such a comfort, such a sense of relationship, in saying, “This is the way we’ve always done it.” But there’s more. Tradition also helps us understand – and celebrate – who we are and to be thankful for the gift of life and for the people God used to give it to us.
Many wonderful traditions combined to make me who I am, and as I grow older I celebrate more and more my unique heritage.
My father, a Viennese chef, imparted an Old World appreciation for gracious living – fine food, beautiful preparation, and professional excellence (plus some wonderful recipes!).
My mother, the daughter of a tailor and the proprietor of a dress shop, taught me to appreciate beautiful fabrics, skillful tailoring, effective organization, and hard work – as well as the importance of making a welcoming home for those I love.
Growing up as the American child of an immigrant parent, I inhaled both Old World ambience and New World freedom and opportunity. And I married into wonderful traditions as well – those of a three-generation farm family from Texas.
Traditions are one way that knowledge is passed from generation to generation. They have filled our lives with many “rare and beautiful treasures” over the years, and we have tried to pass those treasures on to our children. We share and celebrate our special ways of doing things, many of which come from the traditions that shaped us.
Mrs. V talks to your children about obedience and how important it is! ….”Children, do you want to have a happy life? Do you want to go to heaven to see Jesus and Mary after your life here on earth? Then practice the virtue of obedience!”
To the modern mind, the concept of poverty is often confused with destitution. But destitution emphatically is not the Gospel ideal. A love-filled sharing frugality is the message, and Happy Are You Poor explains the meaning of this beatitude lived and taught by Jesus himself. But isn’t simplicity in lifestyle meant only for nuns and priests? Are not all of us to enjoy the goodness and beauties of our magnificent creation? Are parents to be frugal with the children they love so much?
For over half a century, Catholic families have treasured the practical piety and homespun wisdom of Mary Reed Newland’s classic of domestic spirituality, The Year and Our Children. With this new edition, no longer will you have to search for worn, dusty copies to enjoy Newland’s faithful insights, gentle lessons, and delightful stories. They’re all here, and ready to be shared with your family or homeschooling group. Here, too, you’ll find all the prayers, crafts, family activities, litanies, and recipes that will help make your children ever-mindful of the beautiful rhythm of the Church calendar.