Nothing Ordinary Here
Nothing Ordinary Here

Nothing Ordinary Here

Author: Administrator Account/Saturday, January 07, 2017/Categories: Living the Faith Today

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The paradox about ordinary grace is that there’s nothing at all that’s ordinary about it. Grace is exceptional, supernatural, the very center of our relationship with God. Grace is the infinite love of God the creator shown to the very limited created one; the peace of God given to the restless; the unmerited favor of God granted to everyone willing to turn to him.

For that matter, “ordinary” time isn’t particularly ordinary, either. Ordinary Time doesn’t refer to time that doesn’t have anything else going on in it; its name actually derives from the way the time is kept using numbers of “ordinals” (first, second, third, etc.).

So when we say ordinary grace we are referring to a way of looking at the transcendent, at the nature of the relationship between God and humanity, and of allotting that experience based on a calendar.

We’ve been talking a lot in this space, lately, about keeping daily readings, of setting aside time for daily devotions. Our books When The Lord Speaks to Your Heart and He and I are two amazing ways to bring sanctity into your daily life through disciplined daily contact with the Holy.

And they’re not alone. Ordinary Grace (Volumes I and II) take you day by day through ordinary time with Gospel reflections by the Daughters of St. Paul based on the practice of lectio divina. 

Holy reading (lectio divina) has for centuries been a part of the spiritual lives of many people: members of religious orders, saints, priests, laypeople have all found that words can bridge the chasm between humanity and God, can connect us with the Source of love, and can nourish our souls.

But what about ordinary people? you might ask. Here, too, the paradox holds, as the Anglican theologian C.S. Lewis has written:

“There are no ordinary people.

You have never talked to a mere mortal.
Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations—these are mortal,
and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat.
But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with,
marry, snub and exploit—
immortal horrors or everlasting splendors.

In fact, as Dr. Lewis wrote, ordinary people do not exist: everyone is made in the image of God—and is, thereby, extraordinary. So “ordinary” grace, extended to “ordinary” people in “ordinary” time must constitute the greatest paradox of all, the greatest mystery of all.

It is that mystery that we invite you to explore. We want you to share the meditations of the Daughters of St. Paul as they reflect on the Gospel readings of Ordinary Time in the two volumes of extraordinary Ordinary Grace.

These pages are based on lectio divina, a way of praying with Scripture. Our founder, Blessed James Alberione, urged us to nourish ourselves with the Scriptures. He said that when we do this, we “experience interiorly the kindling of a divine fire.” Here the sisters use a simple framework that allows the word of God to make room in our minds and hearts:

  1. the first step, lectio (reading), is to read the day’s gospel passage from a missal or bible. read it a few times slowly, perhaps especially noticing the phrase or verse that is listed under the meditatio section.
  2. the meditatio (meditation) expands the meaning of this phrase and explores what it is saying to us today—what god is asking of us, or challenging us to, or offering to us. after reading the meditation, take as much time as you wish to reflect on it.
  3. the oratio (prayer) can help you talk to god about what has arisen in your heart, so that the time of prayer becomes a conversation, not just a time to think. god has spoken in the scripture. we hear the invitation in our meditation, but now a response is called for. our response is not just to say, “yes, i want to do as you are asking me,” but also to say, “help me do it, lord!”
  4. the short line under contemplatio (contemplation) is a way of extending this time of prayer into life. you can silently repeat it throughout the day to help deepen the intimacy with the lord that you experienced in prayer.

So we invite you today: be extraordinary! 

Say yes to grace and yes to God;
be that extraordinary creature that you were meant to be,
and grow in love toward God and humanity
through experiencing these readings
in your heart and soul as well as your mind.

We’ll even make it easy for you: January 10 and 11 only, Ordinary Grace - Volume 1 (Weeks 1 through 17) and Ordinary Grace - Volume II (Weeks 18 through 34) are yours to treasure (or give as a gift) at a special 20% off. Live or give the paradox today!

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