More Ordinary Time(s)
Throughout June it felt like we were never too far from a Solemnity or important feast day. But, as we move into July not only will there be no Solemnities there will only be five feasts (at least here in East Anglia), and the predominance of green vestments will make it seem like Laudato Si is coming into its own. Ordinary Ordinary Time is here.
And yet, it is in this ‘quiet’ period of the Church’s year that ordinary life is starting to pick up for most of us which I believe is quite providential. Catholics who haven’t been able to receive Holy Communion and other sacraments for months will be returning to the open Churches and public liturgy; receiving there God’s life giving grace through sacraments so that they may be restored to communion and closeness with the Lord. Moreover, with pomp, ceremony, and occasion restricted because of a lack of feasts and the government’s restrictions on singing. Christ presence in the is quietly entering our lives again.
In the world too life seems rather ordinary. Summer is here and bedded in, but with limited holidays, sporting and cultural distractions. Lifestyles changed not ended are beginning again, and slowly our diaries will start to fill with engagements and plans. Ordinary time where God resides as the still small voice of calm is returning not only within the Church’s liturgy but all around us.
How might we respond?
At the beginning of Corona Virus crisis, changes to our life were fast paced brutal imposed alterations in which we found ourselves left with the opportunity to discover new things, and for many enjoy a very clement unfurling nature in all its glory (…or watch too much television and find ourselves trapped in endless Zoom meetings).
Now as life begins to SLOWLY resume, we are left with the opportunity to rebuild our lives and choose where our priorities lie. Will our new-found passions and pastimes be allotted their place? Will we try to stop ourselves returning to the fast-paced life we thought we could not live without before Corona? For a while maybe.
But more importantly, are we going to use this time build God into our lives? Will we try to create good spiritual habits and practices? Because of the gradual returning to ‘normal’ we are able to take stock, pray and reflect as we go forward asking the Lord to help us order our lives towards him.
That is why it is providential that returning to ordinary times should happen in Ordinary Time. With our liturgy and tabernacles bathed and green symbolising growth, we are gifted this chance to grow and work into our lives the good things we have discovered over the past few months; which hopefully includes more time in prayer and a greater appreciation for the liturgy which we are once again allowed to celebrate.