A message from our rector… (from June Keystone)

Posted on May 28, 2013

A Message from Fr. Justin Lanier…..

Welcome to Ordinary time. Of course, this liturgical season is not ordinary as opposed to extraordinary time. Ordinary simply means in order. This season is number, proper 4, proper 5 and so on; it is ordered. For us in the Northern Hemisphere, Ordinary time or Trinity-tide, as it was called in earlier times, often coincides with summer. Choirs take a break, people go on vacation and around here, they come on vacation.

This green season, so called because the vestments and hangings used are green, is often warm and sunny (I hope) and sometimes humid. But time is interesting; it passes quickly for some and slowly for others. Time is one of those things that you can’t really see; it’s not quite a thing, even though we talk about it as if it were a thing. We often talk about time by talking about our experience of what fills time. If we forget ourselves in doing something we enjoy, or that is captivating, we say that “time flew by”. When we are filled with anxiety and stress, it’s as if time creeps by so slowly. When you are with people you really enjoy, time seems to whiz by, “where did the time go?” Or if, like me, you are in the mix with a newborn (my wife, Heather, is due with our second child on June 12th), time seems to loose its regular moorings and drift out to sea a bit. The same can go for a retreat where you are sitting in silent prayer, or even in a single prayer period in your day – time, or rather our experience of time, can get unhinged a bit.

I remember back in my early monastic formation as a contemplative, there was a clock in the washing room at the bottom of the monastery. This area had much more religious kitsch than the rest of the austere simplicity of the building. There was a glowing little Blessed Virgin Mary night light (always left on); there were postcards of beautiful cathedrals and some holy cards with prayers stuck to the wall. But when you looked up at the big institutional clock there were two signs, one on either side – the one read “Time” and the other “Eternity”. At first I thought it was a choice, one or the other…but eventually I began to see that for us as creatures these two are not so separate, even though at first glance they seem to be. These are both aspects of our Trinitarian life, we are both in Time and in Eternity. They are simply part of life.

So as we enter into Trinity-tide, Ordinary time, let’s in fact order our lives both to God fully present in every little blade of green grass and shining face, as well as God in the still recess of the timeless eternal now. Let’s “make time” for doing the good works God has prepared for us and for listening to God in that place in us that no clock can tick. See you in the Green!

Peace, fr. justin