Seasonal Reflection:  Ordinary Time, Summer 2019

Reflecting on Peace

Recently I read Chris Hedges’ book, War Is a Force that Gives Us Meaning. I found it profoundly disturbing because it exposes truths about war that everyone should know and that should turn everyone against it unconditionally. I also found it profoundly disturbing because, although it was written in 2002 about wars now past, it sounds frighteningly like where we are politically today, not just in the U.S., but across the globe.

I thought of this book as I was contemplating what to write as a reflection for Ordinary Time because I thought how the word “ordinary” can have a connotation of boring or unimportant, in other words meaningless. We humans seem to thrive on what is more exciting, more challenging, more special in one way or another—like Hedges’ depiction of what draws humans repeatedly into the dead-end, literally and figuratively, of war.

Of course, Ordinary Time liturgically is not at all meant to be “ordinary” in that unappealing way. As I’ve shared before, the USCCB tells us Ordinary Time “is the time of conversion. [It] is living the life of Christ…a time for growth and maturation, a time in which the mystery of Christ is called to penetrate ever more deeply into history until all things are finally caught up in Christ.”

If anything, Ordinary Time is a “force that gives us meaning,” a far more promising one than war. It is that time when we get to let all that has preceded it in those momentous seasons of Advent, Christmas, Lent, and Easter settle into our very beings. In a way, it’s like vacation or even sleep, which serve similar purposes. They are not at all trivial, nor should they be optional. They are as necessary as the great feasts and festivals.

So, as we enter into yet another season of Ordinary Time, wallow in it. Appreciate its meaningfulness. Use it as a time to grow in Christ, especially the Peace of Christ.

Prayer

Creator Redeemer Sustainer God,
How extraordinary is Your “ordinary time.”
How uncommon is the commonplace in Your Kingdom.
The mundane is made miraculous,
full of holy opportunities.
The smallest joy a jubilee!

Created anew may we grow tall and
“grace-full” in Your likeness.

Redeemed by Your sacrifice may we come
to know the depths of Your love.

Sustained by Your Spirit may we be steadfast
and shining in Your service.

We humbly ask that You continue to bless us
with all we need for
the living of these days—
these wondrous ordinary days—.
that our everyday lives may be gifted
to experience the vitality of Christian community,
to share Your message of hope,
reaching out to the poor and hurting,
and bringing glory and honor to You, our God. Amen.

~ written by Deborah Harris, a lyricist and freelance writer in Waco, Texas. From Sacred Seasons, Pentecost/Ordinary Time 1999. Posted on Simple Living Works.   http://simpleliving.startlogic.com/indexoth.php?place=archives/Articles/WorshipAltItems3.php

~ available at     https://re-worship.blogspot.com/2013/05/prayer-for-ordinary-time.html

 

Suggested Actions

  • - Take advantage of Ordinary Time to slow down and give all the information, activities, demands, and desires that pull you in multiple directions the opportunity to fall into place or, if more appropriate, fall by the wayside. As some things ease up or disappear, give that space to God to guide and strengthen you in what remains.

  • - Enjoy time to reflect and meditate. At times, go even farther and try to empty yourself of all thought. Let your creativity flow inwards. Then, filled with an aura of calm and peace, refreshed and reinvigorated, go out into the world and share your new ideas and energy in a spirit of collegiality and hope.

    - Whether in the quiet moments or when you emerge from them, realize the meaningfulness of your life and celebrate it in ways that bring you joy and a sense of fulfillment as they also bring joy and comfort to others.

  • - Join and stay on top of things through PCMNY’s email action alert network and online at our: website, Facebook page, and Twitter account.

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