The word ordinary, to a Catholic has a few different meanings. Ordinary time, is a time during the liturgical year that is not Advent, Lent, Easter, Christmas, it is the between time. It still contains some very special days, but in itself it is only ordinary. Ordinary, as in holy orders, is a completely different meaning all together. Those who are priests and sisters have taken vows of chastity and live a life in total commitment to God and the people they serve. Then you have the word ordinary, not special, terrific or even outstanding ….just ordinary. It is a state of being not above but possibly below a standard to the extent that it is common, usual, familiar and average. If one is considered ordinary, they are basically not outstanding at all. They don’t take risks, make rash decisions, or stand out as anything other than normal….yes?
In each of us, I firmly believe we are called to be more than ordinary. Bl John Paul II told us “be not afraid,” as Christ told us. Norman Vincent Peale told us to expect miracles, all through our history we see how ordinary people did extraordinary things and accomplished momentous feats. Why the mere study of the saints tells us of ordinary people rising to the call of duty. Are we called to do the same? Of course we are, and it is that call that we must search and listen for? Yes, we are being called, but it is the tricky thing of listening and hearing that fails us. I, for one, am the worst one for sitting down and meditating on prayer. Just a few minutes a day could bring forth the calming solace that lends itself to hearing the call. But alas, we are but ordinary, yes?
How do we accomplish beyond ordinary? Well, first we have to want it; we have to aspire to it. We have to feel uncomfortable in our skin as ordinary people for enough time as to make it unbearable to wake up another day in ordinary. At some point in one’s life, everything will seem too ordinary and too safe, and too boring. At that very moment we will taste the inevitable flavor of desire to go deeper and beyond ordinary. That’s when we must seek God’s call and listen for it calmly in prayer.
The Lenten season is a good time for this and I pray for you and for me that we will calm down, be not afraid, and listen for the miracle of God’s call.