The hum of the washing machine and a slightly soapy smell in the air are a reminder that it is Monday again. It’s a very ordinary Monday, too (St Josaphat is a ‘collect only’ memoria for us). All I have to look forward to are a number of forms to be filled in for the bank, the Charity Commission. and other worthy bodies. Even the dog has decided to have a duvet day by the look of him. So, do I launch upon the world my own version of The Inspirational Quote to make your Monday morning feel even worse than it probably does already? Certainly not!
The point about ordinariness is that it is ordinary. commonplace. Most people’s lives are filled with routine, the unspectacular quotidian, and it is no different in a monastery. We do the same things day after day, sometimes barely registering that we have done them, and only seem to appreciate their value when we are unable to do them for some reason. But St Benedict is insistent that it is the ordinary that will make us holy, gradually fashioning us into the icons of Christ we are meant to become. It is no accident that we know next to nothing of Christ’s early life, the years of quiet obscurity in Nazareth, but their very ordinariness prepared him for his public ministry, suffering and death. For a Christian, following in his footsteps, all life is a preparation for death and the entry into fullness of life — even those apparently endless Monday mornings. Treasure them.