FebAt a Summer School last year, I was struck by a quote that has stayed with me since. It ran,

“When your life is normal, you want it to be more exciting. When you’re on dialysis, you realise how exciting normal is”

It reminded me of how important it is, to enjoy and celebrate the normal in life. There’s a beauty, a silence, a peace and a mystery about the ordinary. The poet, Patrick Kavanagh, summed it up well in his poem “Advent” when he mentioned “the newness that was in every stale thing , when we looked at it as children” To transform the ordinary, we need only to stop and stare, to listen with attention.

How beautiful a sight, to watch the warm rays of sun gilding the branches of trees, to listen to the secret whispering of leaves in the poplar trees, to see the joy on a child’s face, or smell the scent of rain drenched roses! What a sight, to look at twinkling stars in an evening sky, to hear the rush of water flowing over rocks at a sea shore, or the fluttering of wings as a bird takes flight!

The ordinary is not ordinary, but some of us have grown so accustomed to God’s wonderful free gifts, that we miss the simple thrills of the ordinary. Many people block out the normal and ordinary with loud music, harmful drugs and drink, ambition and money making. Yet, as Carsen Weitnauer says,

“No matter how high we buld our castles, when the tide comes, they will be washed away”

We need to protect our capacity for wonder, to rejoice in a simple life style, because again in the words of Patrick Kavanagh, “ through a chink too wide, there comes in no wonder” He himself walked the hills”. loving God’s miracles”

Everything  we see and hear, carries God’ stamp. Moses found Him in the gentle breeze. David Quinn says our task is to make God visible again. ’’You can’t kill God, you can only pretend that he doesn’t exist, and that he doesn’t matter’’. This results in so many things being regarded as normal eg. Co-habitation, divorce, gay marriage, absence of faith,  even abortion.

Jesus lived an ordinary, mundane, humble life. He preached about the ordinary things of life, the lilies of the field, the fig tree, the sower, the seed ,and the weather signs. We have power to transform the mundane, and monotonous aspects of our lives, the pressure and toil of every day, which sometimes overwhelms us.

God is in the ordinary, and while it’s normal to love the exciting,  it’s exciting to find beauty in the normal and ordinary.

Sr. Una Rutledge, RNDM