The Glory of the Ordinary

by Catherine Doherty

This is the essence of Madonna House spirituality: to connect an ordinary and seemingly boring life with its repetitious details, with Love who is God. Then boredom vanishes, and a day spent in sorting buttons is glorious. Then a day at the computer, when your back is aching and your mind reeling with tiredness, is a day that has redeemed many souls; how many God alone knows.

We need to have that awareness and make that connection.

Awareness is a terrible responsibility. We need to see the connection between this awareness, thoughtfulness, recollection, and the restoration of the world to Christ.

How are we going to restore the world to Christ if our workshop or clothing or dishes or the kitchen reflect the disorder of our soul? How can we be aware of the world of souls, if we are not aware of the fact that when it snows, it would be a good idea to shovel a path and clear the steps?

Christ is waiting for us to become aware of him and the work he has given us, by becoming aware of the connection between brooms, dishwater, letter writing, tidiness, and the restoration of the world.

Where did I learn to connect physical things with spiritual truths? My parents never let me forget that every task, however ordinary, was of redeeming, supernatural value, if done out of love.

Awareness of little things, done well for the love of God is daily living lifted up into the heart of Christ. This awareness is an important, glorious, and holy word.

Awareness means to be recollected, to be all there. Where? Before the face of God. It means that we rise in the morning, aware that this day is given to us to grow in love and grace and wisdom before the Lord. It means that we realize that once again we have been given a little piece of time between two Masses to gain or lose the Beatific Vision. It means to realize that we have one more day to spend in the school of the love of God.

How do we do we live like this? For instance, wash the dishes for the love of God. When you serve the family, do it quietly and efficiently. If you learn to connect serving to the supernatural order, you will grow greatly in wisdom and love, and you will be a light shining in the darkness of the world. The light of your loving service will lead people to God.

Adapted from Grace in Every Season, 2001), pp. 27-29, January 11 and 12, available from MH Publications