This is a dangerous book.
As I read The Liturgical Year (The Spiraling Adventure of the Spiritual Life) by Joan Chittister, I was reminded of an earlier book that has now become a favorite to give to others--though always with the warning, "Don't read it until you're willing for your life to change, because you might not be able to avoid it after reading this book." So it is with The Liturgical Year.
Joan Chittister, a Benedictine nun and award-winning author, sets out to explore the meaning and value of the liturgical year, beginning with Advent and climaxing in the celebration of Easter. She not only convinces, she woos. She makes the reader hungry for the benefits she extols. And she does it all with a clear and deep appreciation of the great story God tells every year through the feasts and fasts of the Church. I was a little surprised that the book didn't give more insight into the prayers and practices of the liturgical calendar. I think it would have been even more compelling (especially for readers from non-liturgical backgrounds) if the author had given the reader a sense of what the "spiraling adventure" of the church year looks like and feels like.
Still, as the pastor of a very non-liturgical church (though we all have our "liturgies," to be sure), the book made me long for the rhythms and routines she describes. If you're not careful, it will do the same for you.