The eucharist of the ordinary

We seldom notice how each day is a holy place Where the eucharist of the ordinary happens, Transforming broken fragments Into an eternal continuity that keeps us. John O'Donohue


Walking in green fields. Photograph by Simon Hodge

For in him we live and move and have our being. (Acts 17:28)

The common round - a new theme

Our next theme is the daily round of common, ordinary things, 'everyday' things such as work and recreation, eating, sleeping, and so on.* What is their significance to faith and life?

Ordinary things

Jesus experienced birth, was brought up in poverty. He was considered afflicted and had no place to lay his head. He talked of fields and hills, barley and weeds, builders and shepherds, of sowing seeds and attended weddings and funerals. He ate and drank with vigour, challenged, cajoled and played with friends and often walked in the hills, comfortable with solitude as much with company. He saw the ordinary turned into the extraordinary and the extraordinary made to seem natural – he didn’t sugar coat life but sacramentalised it.

Grace and mystery

The incarnation is as firm a stamp of approval on the everyday that I can think of. Uniting heaven and earth in an 'eternal continuity' holds and frees us. The life of Jesus encourages me to dwell in the grace and mystery within the everyday.

A practise: How might it feel to imagine walking through a wide open field or swimming in a vast ocean - me and my 24/7 living and moving, held and free.

* Karl Rahner, Everyday Things