January 14, 2013

Winter Ordinary Time in Heaven

Ah, Monday of the first week of Ordinary Time. So begins that curiously plain liturgical 'season' that runs from the morning after the feast of the Baptism of the Lord until the night before Ash Wednesday. It's on the short side this year, just four weeks and three days.

Back when I was at the parish I used to joke that winter Ordinary Time was my favorite liturgical season. It was just so wonderful when I would go to open the church at six in the morning and have so little to do. There were no windows to open and fans to turn on, no crawling around, bumbling with the switches and plugs of Christmas trees and Nativity scenes, no trying to guess if you could get away with not turning on the suggestive racket of the baptismal waterfall, no futility of trying to light a paschal candle for a few minutes before giving up and getting the ladder, no trying not to notice the dead leaves of Easter lilies or Christmas poinsettias such that they could prick your conscience and have it remind you that surely taking the time to remove such things from the Lord's sanctuary before Mass would give him more glory than the pleasure of one's private prayers which were probably vain anyway.

In winter Ordinary Time there was none of that. All you had to do was throw on the lights and set up the few things for the humblest of Masses, and you could pray in the empty quiet.

Sometimes I like to think of Heaven as something like winter Ordinary Time; as finding oneself in place that is refreshingly, almost startlingly open and spacious, marked most of all by an emptiness of fuss and worry such that the only thing left to do is love God.


Anonymous said...

Ordinary Time used to outrage me. But then I got old, and like you, found it a great relief.

Faith said...

Pray in the empty quiet. Nice image. In fact, I'm inspired to do that now.

Barb Szyszkiewicz said...

Exactly. Ordinary Time is a great comfort--so much less distraction.

Judy Kallmeyer said...

Heaven--I can't wait to get there!