Holy Days

I read something the other day about how “now that the holidays are over,” blah, blah, blah. In a sense that’s true: what we think of as the holidays (Christmas and New Year’s Day) are over. Of course, the derivation of “holiday” is “holy day”. Something the secular world would have us forget. And truly, Christ’s birth is a holy day indeed! There is a bit of a let down after the ascetic preparations for a feast (Advent, in this case) and the joy of the feast itself (the 12 days of Christmas). I remember when I was Catholic we had something referred to as “ordinary time.” This always sounded kind of amusing to me although I couldn’t put my finger on exactly why. To my mind it meant that we weren’t celebrating anything at all – everything was just… ordinary. The word sounded pejorative.

Today I was having that kind of a let-down feeling. I remembered then something else that I had read:

“Something you’d written in a margin,” said George, “I can’t remember where… ‘The significant, life-forming times are the dull, in-between times.’ A pretty simple statement, but profound if we think it through. I used to believe the life-forming times were the times on the mountain, the great hurrahs…” [Jan Karon, In This Mountain]

These are holy days, these ordinary days of ours! How many miracles do we see with our eyes but not our understanding? My spiritual father has told me many times, “It is TODAY we are saved; not yesterday, not tomorrow, but today.” Each day – today – is a holy day.

6 thoughts on “Holy Days

  1. This is so true! It's a great reminder that even all the little things we do day after day do matter.

    this quote by G.K. Chesterton < \url> runs kind of along the same lines.

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  2. It is a good reminder to remember to count the little miracles of everyday…sadly I often miss them! BTW Catherine's little face in the first pic just cracks me up…she's looking at her brother with this expression like she's just waited to be entertained! Oh the love for a baby in a big family! Never a dull moment for the little ones!…ir the mamas! šŸ™‚

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  3. Many years ago,in our former Lutheran parish (St. Gregory of Nyssa Lutheran Church (!), which set us on our way to Orthodoxy), a dear friend once described the liturgical season of Trinity as the “green, growing season.” I loved that insight then, and it's helpful to remember it now.

    (Trinity is that long stretch of more than twenty weeks after Pentecost and Trinity Sunday through the summer and fall, all the way to the beginning of Advent. The vestments are green and not much happens in the way of feast day drama. I think it's almost the same as Ordinary Time).

    Thanks for your thought-provoking post, and also thanks for reminding me of a wise voice from my youth!

    Ann

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  4. In the past, and occasionally at present, I feel depressed more often during the winter. But this year, every time that feeling would creep up, a thought came to me. I'm not sure where/when/ if I had read it somewhere or heard it, but just thinking about it helped me so much. If one cannot endure the winter, one must only look a bit ahead to the spring- to lent, to Pascha! Because there is so much hope and joy with that day!!! I've been feeling a bit of the post Christmas blues myself, but just think- Pascha is ahead! šŸ˜€
    Love to you and your family!
    Brittany

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