We are back in Ordinary Time in the Church liturgical year. And sometimes, ordinary can seem well, so very common, mundane, and maybe boring. The calendar has been full of fasting, feast days, solemnities, and Sunday Masses with special observances. We have not had to think of something extra or interesting to pray about or celebrate for months. As a result, you might feel a bit adrift or lack focus.
I will tell you that I never thought much about Ordinary Time for years. I considered it the time between the essential times. Most of our life is lived out in ordinary times doing ordinary things. And that is a good thing since it is in the ordinary we learn who we are and what God needs from us. It can be a time to go deeper into our faith and prayer life. We can look at what we are doing now and maybe tweak our prayer life to be more spiritually uplifting.
- Set aside a dedicated prayer time each day. It’s always good to start the day in prayer and then consider adding another prayer time. Use prayer time as bookends for your day, Mass readings, and quiet reflection in the morning; end the day with an examination of conscience and asking God for help for tomorrow.
- Pray a Novena. If you have a favorite saint, use a prayer of theirs, praying it for 9 nine days for a specific intention and ask for the saint’s intercession. Two of my favorite novenas are the Novena to Our Lady Undoer of Knots and the Surrender Novena from Fr. Dolindo Ruotolo. If you need peace, have a complex problem, or have a tough decision, go to Our Lady. Or maybe you need to be in control of everything and have trouble letting go, then take a look at the Surrender Novena.
- Go to Confession. I often find that when my prayer life seems like work or worse, I avoid prayer altogether - it is due to sin I need to repent of. Going to Confession allows us to begin again.
Ordinary Time presents itself as our time to take a breath and reflect on the miracles and wonder of Jesus in our life. Use the time to put new life into your prayer life. You won’t regret it.