Saturday, January 13, 2018

Ordinary, but not Dull plus Q&A

So we're completing the first week of Ordinary time.

I've said it a couple of times, but it bears repeating."Ordinary" in this context does not mean routine, let alone dull or uninteresting. It means that the weeks are ordered, or numbered. With ordinal numbers, get it?

But there's nothing ordinary (in the sense of dull or unimportant) about the breathtaking  poetry in the book of Sirach this week (Office of Readings).  Nor this past Monday's  reading from Pope St.  Clement I, which was a lovely, long petitionary prayer which certainly covers every base. Nor Monday's  daytime reading (midafternoon) from 1 Peter ever fail to inspire awe: realize that you were delivered not by any diminishable sum of silver or gold, but by Christ's blood beyond all price!

This coming Wednesday we learn how to become a hermit from St. Anthony. The heart-breakingly beautiful Psalm 42 pops up again on Monday morning. Tuesday's daytime readings remind us of the mystery and privilege of being a member of the Body of Christ.

And so it goes. The liturgy fills us with a thousand gifts, all year long. Never "ordinary".


At the same time, I feel a good kind of ordinary (in the "ordinary" sense of the word) whenever I put away the Christmas paraphernalia, put the furniture back where it belongs, and get back down to the business.  The relative quiet and the relatively  slender to-do list clears my mind.  And leaving behind for a while the page flipping and calendar checking of Christmastide does much to fuel the notion that ordinary time in the liturgy, is a little less cluttered, and breathes upon us a goodly simplicity. A needed break until Lent.

  Now then, it's been a while since I've done a formal "Q&A" post, partly because I've been a bad, neglectful blogger, and partly because you are free to ask any question on any post.  but perhaps newer people don't know that.    So please, if anything about the Liturgy of the Hours is confusing you, fire away!  

Friday, January 12, 2018

Drive forth, O Lord, O Darksome Things

A Canadian Mom-blogger (and Coffee&Canticles follower) has written this lovely post about the Liturgy of the Hours.

Like so many of you, she has discovered that, far from being a piece of arcane, elite spiritual practice for those of a monastic bent, the Liturgy of the Hours, particularly in its psalms, expresses and addresses our very down-to-earth situation:

We all have suffering and darkness in our lives, and we want God to take it away. Sometimes, the only prayer we can muster is, "God, help me; I can't deal with this crap."  But if we're going to pray that prayer, we might as well use beautiful language--not because God needs to hear it (he knows all the words, even the bad ones), but because we do.  God is everything that is true, good and beautiful. And good Art is the same thing. True Art leads us to God.

So read the rest. Maybe follow the blog too. Looks like she has lots of interesting things there. I mean, pot pies, St. Iraneus, Tupperware fandom, and homage to the PBS Hercule Poirot series. Quite a spread of topics. 

By the way, isn't it kind of nice to be back in ordinary time, with no more wondering how to find the pre and post-Epiphany office each day?