January Liturgical Living
Welcome to our monthly installment of Liturgical Living! It can be so easy to only focus on Advent and Christmas, Lent and Easter. As we move into Ordinary Time, let’s not forget all the beautiful celebrations and reminders of our faith that wait to greet us with fresh mercy each and every “normal” day. Below, find a few simple tips specially geared to this month:
January 3 to January 9
- January 4 was the 200th anniversary of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton’s death and the 46th anniversary of her canonization, America’s first native-born saint! To celebrate, watch the short film that just premiered about her here.
- January 6 is the feast of the Epiphany of Our Lord and traditionally when the 3 wise men visited the baby Jesus. Re-read the gospel from Sunday’s Mass and think about their journey and the Star of Bethlehem overhead. Jesus in a manger probably wasn’t what they expected to find–where is God unexpectedly speaking to you today? Join Hispanic and Latin American cultures around the world today in giving a small gift from los tres reyes (and don’t forget the camels!) to your loved ones. If you’re quarantining, consider giving yourself a gift: grace and holy rest are important too!
January 10 to January 16
- January 12 is the Baptism of our Lord. When God’s voice rang out from the clouds at Jesus’s baptism, he said, “This is my beloved son, with whom I am well pleased.” We please God when we keep his commandments. Renew your baptismal promises today and make an examination of conscience. Where can you follow his laws more closely in your own life? Make an action plan for the week ahead.
- January 17 is the feast of Our Lady of Hope. While this title has been around for centuries, it is most popularly associated with an apparition of Mary that saved the town of Pontmain, France from war. Read the story here and entrust your own secret petitions–the ones you are most afraid to pray for for fear of not being heard–to our Blessed Mother, Our Lady of Hope.
January 17 to January 23
- The Holy Father’s intention for this month is evangelization and human fraternity. As we approach the Inauguration of President-Elect Biden on January 20th, let’s join Pope Francis in praying for one another, and to remember to see ourselves as brothers and sisters, united in Christ, even in strained times.
- On certain liturgical calendars, January 23 is the feast of the Holy Spouses. There is something in this feast for everyone–not just married couples!– so you can still spend a few minutes today reflecting on Mary and Joseph. If you’re single, it is believed both took a vow of virginity and have a special fondness for virgins. If you’re engaged or married, ask their help to open your eyes for other ways you can both serve each other more. Invoke Mary and St. Joseph’s intercession for whatever you need.
January 24 – January 30
- January 24th is the feast of St. Francis de Sales, the patron of Catholic writers. Offer up a Hail Mary today for all the contributors to The SundayMonday and any other favorite blogs or Catholic accounts you follow. Pray for their intentions under the intercession of St. Francis de Sales.
- January 28th is the feast of St. Thomas Aquinas, best known for being a scholar and Doctor of the Church. In his honor, try your hand at some spiritual reading today–even just a chapter of Summa Theologica, St. Josemaria Escriva’s The Way, or St. Therese’s Story of a Soul is a good place to start!
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Gabriela R. A. Doyle is a speechwriter and communications specialist from northern Virginia. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in National Security Studies from Georgetown University and is an Elon University alumna. Gabriela is a ballerina who believes in happily ever afters and trusts that a little hygge and St. Joseph can fix just about any problem there is.