Seasonal Reflection: Ordinary Time, Winter 2016

Reflecting on Peace

In a previous reflection we learned that Ordinary Time on the liturgical calendar doesn’t have quite the same meaning as “ordinary” in common usage. Nevertheless, I’m going to use it in that way here. I recently moved, which is why this reflection is late. They say moving is one of the three top stresses in life. I now understand why. One of the things moving has done for me is make me yearn for “ordinary time.” There is nothing so appealing as feeling at home, having a place for everything and knowing where that is, of the simplicity of routine rather than having to think every little thing through, of having to remember every place that needs to know your new address, of making those contacts, spending hours dealing with businesses that offer you a dozen prompts before you get to the right office, IF you get to the right office, of sitting on hold, or trying to decipher how to do all this on line, and on and on.

Yes, I have a new appreciation of ordinary time, and I thank the Church for providing us with a period of Ordinary Time, as well. It allows us to focus on what really matters, rather than getting distracted by the pressures of this and that that sometimes are unavoidable, but sometimes are of our own making. In Ordinary Time we get to calm down enough to notice the blessings found in little things like a chirping bird, a gentle breeze, a kind gesture, a tasty meal, some favorite entertainment. We meet Jesus where he is in everyday people and happenings, and we feel secure.

Lent is almost upon us, so let’s make the most of what is left of Ordinary Time until it returns several months from now.

 

Prayer

 

Help me stay in the present tense today.
Keep the past where it belongs.
Even the future can be a stumbling block
if it slows me down now.
There's only so much room in my life
for what I need to carry.
If the world is an oyster
and inside it is a pearl, open it for me.
Polish this day, shine it up so I see it for the gift it is.
Allow me to be okay, right where I am,
even as I strive to be better.
Just once, filter out the static of what was
so I can be in this moment.

- Ruth Williams


from http://www.beliefnet.com/Prayables/Prayer-Stories/Prayers-for-Everyday.aspx?p=5#sfyd2xSFUlBm8Mob.99



Suggested Actions

  • - Make time to notice the ordinary things that enrich your life, however small. Say a simple prayer of thanks for them.

    - Try to let go of some of the stresses and strains that bring you down. Embrace the ordinary that provides you comfort and security.

    - Reach out to others to help them appreciate and enjoy the ordinary in their lives. Where they are feeling pressured, ask if there are ways you can help alleviate some of their anxiety and restore them to the benefits of “ordinariness.”

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