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Ordinary Holiness

Sometimes when I am just dragging through my day, feeling weighed down by the realities of everyday life, I wish I could be lifted out of my nitty-gritty existence — be “caught up to the third heaven” as St. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 12:2. I suspect, though, that one reason human beings are so rarely permitted to transcend the actualities of earthly existence is because our daily life itself is so valuable to God.

The importance of human life is revealed in the Incarnation, where the divine becomes human — doesn’t just visit us, like royalty sweeping in, dressed in ermine and silk, and then sweeping out again, but becomes one of us and one with us.

There is a holiness about our life and its details. There is holiness in our birth and holiness in such mundane activities as sitting here before the computer monitor or bathing or eating breakfast or washing dishes. The divine is present when we are with our families and friends and doing our work and enjoying our recreation, and God will be with us still in that sacred moment when we take our last breath.

Indeed, the glory of the Lord has come upon us.

Arise, shine; for your light has come,
and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.
For darkness shall cover the earth,
and thick darkness the peoples;
but the Lord will arise upon you,
and his glory will appear over you.
(Isaiah 60:1-2)

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