As excited as I am for this special penitential time of year, I am saddened that family and friends will not experience any of what we will.
I know each Pilgrim's journey is his own, and God speaks to us and deals with us each in a unique way; I still wish that our loved ones would be a part of His Church.
The liturgical year - with its feasts and celebrations, colors and sacraments and seasons - is in its nature cyclical as we are cyclical folks ourselves. We look forward to spring and the flowers coming through the cold ground. We look forward to warm and long days and cooking outside and trimming the shrubbery. Then we look forward to cool evenings and the fall color. Then, when that first snow comes, it is exciting as well!
Similarly the Church year cycles:
The 'new year' begins with Advent, a penitential time of waiting and preparation (purple)
Then we celebrate the Feast of the Nativity: Christmas and it's octave (white)
Then comes Ordinary Time until Ash Wednesday and Lent (green)
40 days of Lent and then the Easter Triduum (white) , then 50 days of Easter celebration!
Then another longer Ordinary Time (green) , ending with the Feast of Christ the King of the universe!
So much to celebrate with Jesus!!
So many events in His life we remember and meditate on!
So big our God is - all praise to Him!!!