I love Ordinary Time.
I love the time in between festivals and feast days and holy days - outside of holiday time, if you will. It could perhaps even be called regular
time for me. Just coming out of Christmastide, I can see how disintegrated my thoughts van become, my posts demonstrate that. Too much levity, humor that gets just a little too cutting, sarcastic, or just too critical. Today's Gospel opens Ordinary Time with, "Repent, and believe in the Gospel!" What a wonderful invitation! "If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts!"
The liturgical meaning of Ordinary Time.
The greatness of Ordinary Time.
The Latin Tempus Per Annum ("time throughout the year") is
rendered into English as "Ordinary Time." Many sources, online and in print,
suggest that Ordinary Time gets its name from the word ordinal, meaning
"numbered," since the Sundays of Ordinary Time, as in other seasons, are
expressed numerically. However, others suggest the etymology of "Ordinary Time"
is related to our word "ordinary" (which itself has a connotation of time and
order, derived from the Latin word ordo). Ordinary Time occurs outside of other
liturgical time periods, periods in which specific aspects of the mystery of
Christ are celebrated. According to The General Norms for the Liturgical Year
and the Calendar, the days of Ordinary Time, especially the Sundays, "are
devoted to the mystery of Christ in all its
aspects." Ordinary Time encompasses that part of the Christian year that
does not fall within the seasons of Advent, Christmas, Lent, or Easter.
It seems to me many traditional liturgists hate the term Ordinary Time used to
designate the liturgical season outside Advent, Christmas, Lent, and
Paschaltide. Other Catholics, including some priests think of it as a sort of
boring season. In fact my pastor once described it as a time to prepare for
Lent. As we know, Lent is a time to prepare for Easter. With that type of
thinking, one lives one's life in perpetual anticipation of another more
colorful and fulfilling period of time, thus missing the present moment. Others
may disagree, but I think Ordinary Time is a wonderful time to appreciate
what St. Jose-Maria Escriva calls "the greatness of ordinary
Let me stress this point: it is in the simplicity of your
ordinary work, in the monotonous details of each day, that you have to find the
secret, which is hidden from so many, of something great and new: Love. -
Some people have lamented the term as if it somehow denigrates the liturgical
season outside of Advent, Christmas, Lent, and Easter season. Interestingly
many people who dislike the term also seem to object to the Ordinary Form of
Mass - preferring the traditional Latin Mass, or Extraordinary Form instead.
The ordinary, or little way.
Ordinary, normal life is the basis for sanctity - Christ lived most of his
ordinary life in normal circumstances - so unremarkable there wasn't even
anything to write about. The Roman Catholic Church does NOT place heavy demands
upon the faithful. We are simply expected to keep the commandments, including
the precepts of the Church: Go to Mass on Sunday, fulfill what used to be called
our Easter duty - communion (confession recommended) at least once a year, say
our morning and evening prayers, observe the rules of fast and abstinence -
there aren't many, support the Church and her mission, love one another, give
alms, and so on. You don't have to know or follow every utterance the Pope
makes at a Wednesday audience, or put into practice every ideal he recommends in
an interview. You don't have to believe in or follow what mystics and
apparitions tell you to do. You don't have to wear chapel veils or walk around
town staring at the street lest you see some bag of flesh wiggling itself in
your face. You don't have to know or even like Latin.
If you're married - stay married. If you're single - stay chaste. If your
right hand causes you to sin, then stop using it for that. If you like to drink
and get drunk - either don't drink so much or don't drink at all. In other
words, use common sense.
If you aren't attracted to Eucharistic adoration, then visit the Blessed Sacrament in a church or chapel which doesn't have adoration. Stay longer after communion and adore him in your soul. Pray at home with the
scriptures or something. If you don't go to daily Mass, it's not a sin. If you
have a hard time praying the Rosary, then pray the Angelus or pray the Little
Office or some Marian prayer you do find you are able to pray.
Anything done out of love is important, however
small it might appear. God has come to us, even though we are miserable
creatures, and he has told us that he loves us: “My delight is to be among the
sons of men.” Our Lord tells us that everything is valuable — those actions
which from a human point of view we regard as extraordinary and those which seem
unimportant. Nothing is wasted. No man is worthless to God. All of us are called
to share the kingdom of heaven — each with his own vocation: in his home, his
work, his civic duties and the exercise of his rights. - Christ Is Passing By, JoseMaria Escriva
Christ came to call and save sinners... ordinary people.
Art: Annunciation, Collier