"It is the business of the wise man to order." Aristotle, Metaphysics.
We are given this day. What will we do with it? If we're faithful, we will work to give every minute of it back to God: to make our life a prayer. That's one reason why it belongs to the wise man to order his life, and that's also a good reason to use the Catholic Woman's Daily Planner from Family-Centered Press.
The Planner begins with a listing of prayers, reminding me to offer my day to God and to pray for the grace I'm definitely going to need to do that. There's a portion for recording spiritual reflections, so that I can put that great quote of St. Therese's right where I know I can find it quickly when I need some encouragement. There's a portion for listing friends and their contact information, reminding me of the family of God that heartens me along my way and making it easy for me to connect with them. There's a menu planning portion to help me make certain I have what I need for the week's meals. This is especially useful to me because, though man does not live on bread alone, he definitely needs to eat and children seem to need to do so all day long. But the portion which benefits me most is the daily breakdown of the liturgical year.
The Church has structured our liturgical life so that, every single year, we live the life of Christ. The Catholic who is aware of the liturgical year is necessarily aware of Christ. This planner makes me more aware. Before I had a planner, I always knew it was Monday or Tuesday, but I didn't always get the date right unless I had to write a check. I sometimes missed celebrating feast days, or offering mass on the anniversary of a friend or relative's death simply because I was confused about the date. Now I not only know the day and date, I know it's the feast of St. Lawrence, that I should say the Glorious Mysteries of the rosary today, and what the readings and Psalms at mass will be. If I can't make it to mass, I can at least participate in a unified manner: joining my voice to that of the Body of Christ at Mass, while reflecting on the same readings and prayers. I see at one glance the feast days for the whole week, which gives me time to plan for upcoming feasts so that we can celebrate them fully. When we do that, we live the life of Christ more fully and more faithfully.
I am aiming to make our Faith such a part of everyday life that our expressions of love for God are as natural and common as our expressions of love for the family He has blessed us with. But my life is busy and even the dog clamors for a little more attention. When I consider the best approach to ordering my life, I remember that we are a melding of body and soul. We learn through our senses. This planner gives me a concrete framework which helps me focus on the highest things while juggling all the necessary ones.
Additional Details provided by Mary-Eileen Swart:
The planner has a two-page monthly spread with big spaces to write on for each day. Following that, there are two-pages, lined, for each week of the month, allowing for many more details to be filled per day. The planner also includes extra sections at the front for prayer intentions, faith journey jottings, recipes, favorite websites, and other such items, and a set of tabs to make it easy to find a particular month or section.
The planners are very customizable. You can purchase an optional set of menu-planner pages that include tear-off shopping lists, or a 36-week set of lesson planning pages. Depending on availability, you can usually order planners in two different sizes, and either spiral bound or hole punched to insert in your own binder.
For the past few years, Family-Centered Press has also offered a slightly different version of the Catholic Woman's Planner designed for homeschool moms. The months run from August of the current year through July of the next, which makes it ideal for organizing an entire school year's worth of activities and lessons. This version is usually available for ordering by April.