April will be a month of Catholic Holy Days starting with Palm Sunday. Catholics and Christians everywhere will be planning which Holy Day Services they will be attending, and who will be coming over for Easter Dinner. In my meditation this morning, I pondered about our kind of Calendar Religion. It’s good in some ways, of course, but it does tend to keep people thinking in terms of Religious vs Secular-type divisions in our minds. Like, Sunday is special because it’s Church, but Monday is just my ordinary life again.
If I think about what Jesus showed us regarding such practices, I see something different. I see Him rebuking those who tried to censure His freedom of the Spirit at every moment, by quoting “the Rules of Religion” at Him. But it was in fact His ordinary life that was the place of many of His greatest miracles and parables. He lived His Spirituality every moment of every day, not just on the Sabbath day. Why? Because He was always Awake and Aware of His connection to The Divine! Attentive and Centered within Himself, He clearly understood that His Union with the Father was a very Present Reality; one that was ever-active, regardless of what the Calendar said.
He had respect for the proper Services of His Faith, but He was not limited by them. He participated in Synagogue Services, but He would also wake up early in the morning to go apart by Himself to pray. He wanted no divides between people. He wanted them to understand Truth from their hearts. But for that to happen, they would have to wake-up to their actual lives and step out of their automatic conditioned behaviors. Jesus knew that would not be an easy thing for them. Thanks be to God, He had a plan!
Jesus did not leave us the New Testament. That came years later, after having been handed down and finally written down, and then after having been filtered through a Greek translation. He did not leave us a Religion of the Calendar. Or a structured Church system. Jesus did leave us something of much greater value to our eternal destiny. His Holy Spirit! When His message was preached everywhere to whomever would listen from their hearts, those people would receive the Holy Spirit. That Free Gift of the Holy Spirit changed their reality! They did wake-up! And their ordinary, everyday lives were transformed from within!
TODAY – I Am Awake to the Presence of God in my Ordinary Life. I am grateful! I am loved! I am blessed!
One thought on “Calendar Religion or Religion of the Spirit?”
Nice reminder, Theresa. Our Christian life is indeed not limited to Sunday and special feast days. It’s also important to remind us, though, that the Holy Spirit did inspire the young Church to establish a certain calendar with days dedicated to weekly meetings and annual celebrations … so that the individual Christians would not be left to themselves.