We finish celebrating the Christmas Season with the Feast called The Baptism of the Lord. Now we enter the liturgical season called Ordinary Time or counted time. We will hear primarily from the Gospel of Luke until the beginning of the Lenten Season which begins on Ash Wednesday, March 6th. It is a time when we learn about the public ministry of the Lord.
This time in the calendar year calls us to make resolutions. In speaking with a couple of people and asking them if they make resolutions, they indicated that they don’t like that term, but rather like the word goals. Perhaps it is a better choice. I am not sure. For some reason, it seems our culture invites us to become committed to making changes in our lives especially physically and perhaps mentally as well. We are well acquainted with the challenges to lose weight and exercise more.
What can we do regarding our spiritual lives? Adding more forms of prayer might not be the answer. Rather we might want to carve out some quiet time; time when we can sit in the presence of God and be still allowing God to speak to us. It is difficult when we are bombarded by words on television, on our phones, in reading materials and in conversation. Sitting quietly becomes a real challenge but it might be our best goal. One of the people with whom I spoke indicated that “We should not be too hard on ourselves.”
Growing spiritually is a life-long process. It does not happen in a year. The beginning of 2019 affords us a chance to begin with small steps. Start with five minutes of silence, simply sitting in the presence of God. Practice quieting your mind. Focus on breathing deeply and perhaps repeating a mantra such as Jesus, Yahweh, Peace, or Love. Choose a word that quiets you. Increase the time as you become used to sitting in silence. Morning is probably the best time to practice this kind of prayer. It is worth the effort as we move through the year, coming to know God through his son, Jesus Christ. The many Scripture stories we will hear during Ordinary Time will guide us to become better disciples of Christ. Remember, though; don’t be too hard on yourself.
~by Helen Ackermann