The new liturgical year begins in just a couple weeks! It’s one of the joys of being Catholic – so many new seasons to build resolutions into! I am making a list of intentions and goals for the new liturgical year. Advent is a time of preparation, getting our hearts and minds and bodies ready for the birth of Christ; so my intentions are focused on stepping out of consumerism and into love.
First, if you haven’t read Marie’s article on Conscious Fashion – read it, she says it all so well! And leaves us with the realization that thoughtfulness and intentionality can apply to more than fashion – and this is the approach I am working toward in my own consumption. “Purchasing is always a moral act” as Pope Benedict XVI has said, and hence this journey into minimalism. In this new season, amid the earth’s poverty of light and warmth, as we await the new-born sun, my family is learning to embrace the simple quiet of not-having. We are transitioning to a cash system in our own spending, weaning off the ease and carelessness of online buying as much as possible and looking within our community for the things we need. We are learning what we need, and what we just crave. It’s a slow journey, but the end goal is in sight: “the house of the poor is like an altar.”
Another slow transition for our family is away from conventional doctors and into naturopathic care. We don’t go to the doctor often, in fact, only my children see a doctor, and only for their well-visits. We are a healthy family, and my children’s doctors are sweet and good. But limited. I would like to work with wise-women or men who see the body in a more holistic way and work with it and the earth to heal. It will require some driving and some financial planning, but I’m so excited about this shift toward a more balanced relationship with our healers.
Fasting is my 3rd and final winter resolution. Both for health and holiness. The world is so sad, so angry – and this is the best season to welcome the Stranger as Christ into our lives and homes. I am fasting for each of those faces of Christ, however much I might dislike or disagree with them. It is so important to open the door wide for the problematic stranger! This winter I’m working to step back from distractions and focus on living that welcome in my home, in my writing, and within my heart. Fasting from food is such a huge part of that – a way to make my daily life into a little prayer for those who can’t yet pray for themselves. To take on poverty and lack in order to make my a little altar of myself.
..at least, that’s my hope! My intention for this season of Midwinter darkness. What are yours?