15 November 2007

The End of Ordinary Time

As we draw closer to the end of the Liturgical year, the Solemnity of Christ the King, the Feast of St. Andrew and the beginning of Advent, it seems a good moment to examine the "ordinary." St. Francis de Sales, as many saints before him and many after, believed that the most direct route to holiness was a daily faithfulness to the ordinary tasks required by each person's state in life. And so, Ordinary Time can be a reminder for us that even the "ordinary" moments of our Liturgical year can be lived with extraordinary fidelity and devotion.

Fifty-five years before being elected Pope and one year before being ordained a priest, Angelo Roncalli wrote the following on 29th January, the former date of the Feast of St. Francis de Sales:

"Today was a perfect feast, I spent it in the company of Saint Francis de Sales, gentlest of saints. What a magnificent figure of a man, priest and bishop! If I were like him, I would not mind even if they were to make me pope! . . . My life, so the Lord tells me, must be a perfect copy of that of Saint Francis de Sales, if I wish to bear good fruit. There is nothing extraordinary in me or in my behavior, except my way of doing ordinary things -- 'all ordinary things but done in no ordinary way.' "

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