After the buzz of excitement that started from Thanksgiving, moving into Christmas and New Years, we find ourselves in the ordinary time in between time. This short interval until the beginning of the Lenten season, which flows quickly into Easter, is an invitation to ‘be still.”
These cold damp and quiet days of winter can become an invitation to just be still and reconnect with ourselves. This little time of Ordinary time comes after a long celebratory time, this is a time to finally be quiet and be still. Ordinary time is really a time to just Order in our lives. One cannot have a feast if one does not know the famine. Use this time to connect with yourself and those closest to you with few major celebrations. It is a perfect time to just be quiet and listen to the stillness. This is not only the stillness crisp or cold nights, but to get in touch with the needed stillness inside of your own life. It is very tough to find the time for stillness, with jobs, kids, games and activities, and the endless list of things that we want to accomplish. Stillness is difficult to come by. We cannot be compassionate to others, if we are not compassionate to ourselves. We cannot listen to the needs of others, if we are not listening to our own needs.
I’m reminded by the invitation in the Gospel of Matthew where Jesus calms the storm while he and the disciples were in the boat. He says “Quiet! Be Still!” (Mark 4:35-41) This reminds us of the need to be still and it regrounds us in the ordinary, the moments of life that give us real faith, real hope and continues to build our trust in God and one another.
John Foley, S.J. asks:
“Why are Jesus and God so bent on finding faith and trust in us?” And he replies: “Because faith and trust are like openings that allow God’s love to enter us. He cares enough about us to allow pain and sorrow to find us and stretch us and make room for a deeper relation with him. They are not just good habits or virtues, faith and trust; they are the most important qualities of any loving relationship. They are what happens when one person is intimately connected to another. They are the avenues each of us must travel in order to be at one with God.”
- How can you find ways to be still and reconnect with those you love?
- How can you be sure that you are grounded, so that when the storms in your life come up, you will be able to continue?
- How are you the calm for the storms in another’s life?