HAVING consulted the College of Consultors, His Grace Most Reverend…
We are only two weeks into the new year and I have already heard many comments about how quickly Christmas “came and went” and how “soon Lent will be upon us!”
The liturgical season of Christmas came to an end with the celebration of the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. And now we are in Ordinary Time, the longest “season” of the Church’s liturgical year.
Ordinary Time recalls the events and mystery of Christ’s life in their totality.
It may have seemed to you at times, that this time is, well, ordinary; in the sense that it is not as important. But that is not so. This time is called tempus per annum, “time through the year.” It is from this that we render in English, Ordinary Time. Rather than meaning unimportant, it means ordered, as in Ordered Time.
Ordinary Time, then, is also a time during which we can grow closer to the Lord and deepen our spiritual lives. Here are five suggested practices to get the most out of our observance of Ordinary Time. These are things we can do any time, but let’s use them to renew our commitment to Christ throughout the year.
1. Surrender to Christ – Begin each new day by surrendering yourself to Him and His Will. Replace the habit of pride with the practice of humility, trusting in the Lord.
2. Live in a sacramental life – We can make no progress in the spiritual life if we are not in a state of sanctifying grace. Regularly and actively participate in the sacraments, particularly Holy Mass.
3. Develop a daily prayer habit – If we love someone, we desire to be with that person. The same is true if we love God. Prayer is how we spend time with God. Commit to pray daily prayers. Devotionals, such as the Rosary, and liturgy, such as the Divine Office, are great practices to assist you.
4. Meditate on the Sunday Mass readings – Spend time each week prayerfully reading and thinking about the coming Sunday’s Mass readings – what they mean and how they apply to your life.
5. Be Christ to others – We cannot claim to follow Christ if we do not serve those people He places in our daily lives. Service always requires us to be Christ to those around us, but we are also called to serve those we do not easily recognise. Widen your outreach this year.
The celebrations and seasons of the Liturgical Calendar, including Ordinary Time, along with all the other occasions and event that mark our passage through time, should serve to remind us that we are not accidents of nature, but rational beings created by and loved of God who made us for a high purpose. Let us seek always to give glory to our God! – Deacon Bickerstaff