• Michael Haldas

Ordinary versus Extraordinary


“We are to try to become ordinary Christians, not mimic astounding feats described in the lives of the saints. Ordinary Christianity is hard enough for any of us and it is sufficient for our salvation. If we ever find ourselves longing for exalted states we must immediately repent and seek guidance from someone wiser than ourselves in these matters. Such longing is an obvious sign that something is wrong with us spiritually." (Father Spyridon Baily) “We can only appreciate ourselves as God intended us to be when we begin to better value the gift of ordinariness. The beauty of ordinariness is especially revealed, supported, and enhanced by the presence of good friends…we need to recognize again and again in our prayer, scripture reading, self-reflection, and interactions with others that the spiritual life is not a rarefied form of thinking or mystical experience for the elite. Instead, it is simply an honest way of living. Our journey with God can be made much more simple if only we take the time and effort each day to remember that true ordinariness is indeed tangible holiness.” (Robert J. Wicks) “I recently had a heart-rending conversation with a wonderful young woman who, outwardly at least, seemed to have a fulfilling life. During our chat, however, I sensed that everything was not going as well with her as outward appearance indicated. With very little prompting, she readily confided that she had been deeply depressed over a number of years, and that on several occasions had even entertained the possibility of suicide. She came from a caring family, and enjoyed numerous friendships, but none of the people in her life had sensed her deep distress and unhappiness. It was not that they didn’t care; quite the opposite was true. Rather it was that life had somehow become so hectic that there was little time for meaningful conversation and deep personal sharing. Distracted by the mundane, they had neglected what was truly important.” (Rev Andrew J. Demotses) “The mundane and ordinary can be just that, or we can recognize them for what they are - the simple aspects of life to draw us closer to God and each other. Christ did not teach through fantastic grandiose stories; He taught through parables involving aspects of familiar daily life. Shut in due to the coronavirus and bereft of conveniences and many things in life we often allow to become distractions, we have an opportunity to rediscover the extraordinariness of sunshine, fresh air, walks, good books, the people we live with, the people we miss, and most importantly, prayer and the God we neglect due to busyness. Some are saying the world might never be the same. Maybe that’s what God wants. Maybe that’s the good He will bring out of this crisis.” (Sacramental Living Ministries) “Take control of the things you grant entrance into your heart. Be watchful of the things you pacify yourself with. Give thanks for the mundane and savor the simple. Most often, the most extraordinary things in our lives aren’t really things at all and are hidden away in the most ordinary of days.” (Sylvia Leontaritis)

"Mark 12:37 reads, “and the common people heard Him gladly.” I don’t like to think of myself as common or ordinary. Most people don’t. But that is exactly the type of person I need to be. Those types of persons are the most open to receiving Christ and being filled with the Holy Spirit because they are not filled with themselves.” (Sacramental Living Ministries)

“Christ found that it was the "common people" who "heard him gladly." St. Paul also observed that not many of those who were worldly, mighty, or of noble birth accepted the Christian calling. (l Cor. 1:26).” (Rev. Andrew Demotses)

“God is known for taking the ordinary and making it extraordinary. Throughout scripture God used ordinary men to affect his kingdom in extraordinary ways.” (Henry and Tom Blackaby)

“The life-saving strategy of Jesus is based on ordinary people showing and telling about Him in ordinary places.” (Ron Hutchcraft)

"The saints are ordinary people who have practiced the Christian life and have been blessed by God to achieve such holiness." (Father Spyridon Baily)

“…one can be a rather ordinary person and still make an extraordinary spiritual contribution…You don’t have to have a lot of money, or fame or a great career in order to answer God’s call for your life… God calls everyone to something in their life. There is no one who is uncalled…An extraordinary person with little faith is rather ordinary in the eyes of God. An ordinary person with extraordinary faith, is extraordinary in the eyes of God.” (Fr. Stavros N. Akrotirianakis)

“Throughout his ministry, St. Paul remained a tentmaker (Acts of the Apostles 18:3-4). This was his trade and he kept busy, wherever he was, by sewing tents. One lives the Christian life in ordinary ways. Not all of us will be heroic monks or nuns living a strict Prayer Rule. In fact, most of us will live out our lives as “spiritual athletes” while we do homework, make dinner, hold down a job, pick up the kids from soccer practice, have our teeth cleaned.” (Abouna Justin Rose)

“St. Paul was called to Christ in a dramatic, extraordinary way. A blinding light threw him to the ground. But we too have been called to Christ…And when we recognize the power and the glory of God, we can understand our own position as God’s servants. We begin to approach the menial tasks that are all a part of our jobs as parish council members—taking out the trash, collating flyers, cleaning the windows, doing tedious paperwork—with a sense of contentment rather than a sense of obligation.” (Father Christopher Metropulos)

“… Mary showed herself to be a person of contemplation and introspection, a person of depth and perfect devotion to the Lord. Starting with her acceptance of the Lord’s will when she said “Let it be according to your word” and throughout her life, Mary followed God’s will even in pain. Luke 2:51 says that concerning the words and actions of her Son, “[she] kept all these things in her heart.” She was clearly seeking deeper meaning in the ordinary events of His and her life. She was actually being a model Christian as she sought to see the extraordinary in the ordinary, to understand God’s will in daily life…” (Sacramental Living)

“The ordinary acts we practice every day at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest.” (Thomas Moore)

#FrStavrosNAkrotirianakis #AbounaJustinRose #FatherChristopherMetropulos #SacramentalLiving #ThomasMoore #SacramentalLivingministries #RevAndrewDemotses #HenryandTomBlackaby #RonHutchcraft #FatherSpyridonBaily #RobertJWicks #RevAndrewJDemotses, #SylviaLeontaritis

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