As we leave the Easter Season, I would like to pause a bit to reflect on our return to “Ordinary Time.” For the next 23 weeks we will celebrate a period of time in the church’s yearly calendar that does not fall within “major liturgical feasts,” i.e., Easter, Christmas, Advent, and Lent. It is not called “ordinary time” because it is “common” but rather it reflects that fact the Sundays are numerically ordered.

I do not however, want to focus on these days in the liturgical sense but rather in the reality of our lives. All of us lead lives that are “ordinary.” Surely, we each have extraordinary moments, some more than others, but in general we live our lives in the ordinary. It is important to recall though that it is in these ordinary times that we can often encounter Christ. While Christmas and Easter and the other seasons of the year offer us the opportunities for special reflections, I submit that important spiritual growth usually occurs in the ordinary activities of our days. Spiritual moments are seldom accompanied by claps of thunder or booming choirs, most don’t even happen in a church. Unfortunately, we are usually so busy “doing” that we miss the profound importance of these divine moments.

Think about it….In the course of your normal, ordinary days how many glimpses of the divine do you get?

I know… I know…you’re chuckling to yourself and asking….‟divine moments” in MY day...PLEEEEASE!

But think about it!

As you hurriedly kiss your spouse goodbye on your way out the door in the mornings aren’t you really exchanging a message of love and trust that would be impossible to vocalize? Isn’t there an implicit prayer(s) involved in that simple peck?

When you prepare a great meal to celebrate your daughter’s birthday and when you tuck your young son in at night you are saying so much without saying a word. Can you see the possibility of God’s love in those simple actions? The time you spend over coffee with your aging parent and the glass(s) of wine you share with your best friend are opportunities to find God in ordinary things. When you hug your sister, who is going through the latest crisis in her “love life” or send a quick email of thanks to a neighbor, when you quietly sit at the bed side of a sick relative or lift a toast at your niece’s wedding, you are living in the ordinary but glimpsing the divine. The “Spiritual Exercises” of St. Ignatius of Loyola were developed, in part, to help us to identify God “in all things.” Ignatian spirituality is rooted in the conviction that God is active, personal, and—above all—present to us in our ordinary, everyday lives.

Now that liturgically we are returning to “Ordinary Time” I hope that you will not forget that it is in the ordinary that we find God. Why not spend a bit of time during the approaching summer season trying to discern where God may be in your life. There is nothing ordinary about our ordinary lives! In fact, it is often extraordinary.

-- Fr. Frank Lawlor