I keep many journals. There is a daily one that comes as part of the poetry calendar. Then there are the two that I keep for the grandsons, each used to comment on thoughts I might have regarding their growing up and giving me an opportunity to share with them at a later time what I might think important in this journey of life. Finally there is a journal that I keep not to record daily activities but rather a journal to explore how I feel about this journey of life. It seems I have not written very much in that particular journal. When I finally picked it up to write, I found I had not made an entry for six months.
We had gone to the cabin and when I opened the journal to finally write a few thoughts, I noticed that the last time I had written was in the fall six months ago. It was a weekend at the lake and we had taken the dock out. We have a homemade dock that my husband and I can still remove from the lake and six months later still return to its rightful place in the water. For me it has become a ritual that marks time. The ritual of putting the dock in and taking it out marks a six month period and each time I reflect over the last six months and wonder what the next six months will bring. Has the family has done well? Has the family suffered hardship? Has the family remained healthy? How has the family struggled with the ordinariness of life? I am grateful that serious illness has not taken its toll but with advancing years, I do wonder what the next six months will bring.
In recognizing the ritual and understanding that it marks time, I have given thought to another ritual that as Catholic Christians we observe. Each Sunday we mark a sacred ritual as we celebrate the Eucharist. With the celebration of our Sunday Eucharist we mark time, going so far as to call some of it Ordinary Time, or counted time. Our sacred ritual marks the liturgical seasons which incorporate winter, summer, fall and spring into the celebrations. Eucharist marks time for us. It is a sacred ritual that repeated moves us to a deeper relationship with our Savior Jesus Christ as well as our relationship with one another. We should never take for granted this sacred ritual because it gives us the promise of full unity with God at the close of our days.