Ah yes, we are back to Ordinary Time. But make no mistake; there’s nothing ordinary about it! In the Church calendar, Ordinary Time is divided into two chunks. The first chunk goes between the Christmas Season and Lent, and the second chunk is much longer and runs all the way between the end of the Easter Season and the beginning of Advent.
Ordinary time is…not so exciting and kind of vague sometimes. There’s not necessarily a particular spiritual focus for us, so it’s a great time to look at how we let God into all the ordinary moments of our daily lives. How can I live the Christian life at school? At work? At home? Deep inside Balogun market? On the highway in bumper to bumper traffic? In line at Hans & René? How can I be selfless, not selfish? How can I live my entire life as a witness to Christ; as a giant arrow pointing not to how awesome we are, but to how awesome Jesus is?
Below are seven exceptional ways to live the Church’s “Ordinary Time” courtesy of Our Sunday Visitor:
1. Keep a gratitude journal
Scientific studies have shown that people who regularly “count their blessings” are happier than those who don’t. 😀 Often we focus on the negatives in our lives and overlook the positives. So, during Ordinary Time, take a small notebook and, once a day, write at least five things you are thankful for.
2. Focus on God’s abundance and how He loves you personally
Try to concentrate on the ways God has shown His providence in a tangible, practical manner. God continually showers abundance on us. It is a daily joy to see what new gift God has for us each day. And yes, He loves YOU so much, and so perfectly.
3. Put your faith into action
One of the reasons our faith can become stale is because it becomes too cerebral. Instead of “doing,” we spend most of our time “thinking.” So put your faith in action. For example, during Ordinary Time, simplifying and giving away those things that we no longer use can become a great act of faith… and a great faith-builder.
4. Do some spiritual reading
In the weeks when the Church is not preparing for something special, we have the time to read what others have written about God, faith and the meaning of life. We don’t have to agree with everything we read, but reading morally engaging literature is one of the best ways to keep our faith vital and vibrant. Try spending 10 minutes a day reading and meditating on the writings of Saints. You can find some free e-books on our website.
5. Keep the Sabbath
The weeks of Ordinary Time are ideally suited to creating family rituals that keep the Sabbath as a special day. Without the pressure of holidays and holy days, we can design our own personal practices that make Sunday a day to anticipate.
6. Pray a novena
A novena, nine days of private or public prayer intended to obtain a special grace, favor or blessing has long been a part of the Church’s devotions. You can find novenas for everything from world peace to healing, a lot of which are directed to end on a particular feast day of Mary, Jesus or a prominent saint. Remember: try as much as possible to finish a novena once you start it.
7. Get to know a Saint
Saints are not freaks or exceptions, they are the standard operating model for human beings. They were just like us, ordinary () people who fully heeded God’s call and aligned their wills to God’s. We should all aspire to be like them
As Charles Peguy put it, “life holds only one tragedy, ultimately: not to have been a saint.”