Sep 25, 2019 266 0 Patrick Hirzel

From Ordinary to Extraordinary

How to turn your mundane, everyday activities into amazingly extraordinary works. #Just Add Love

Words that Resonate

When I was 26 years old, I moved far away from home. In my new parish, I joined “The Legion of Mary”. Our pastor had organized a newcomer service, so we visited new people in town to invite them to the Holy Mass and share some good spiritual material. Our Pastor also liked us to call on the sick and those he hadn’t seen in church lately.

One of the members of the Legion was a disabled veteran. His words still resonate in my heart even after forty years. “We don’t have to go to faraway places to do great things for God. Just lovingly accept and deal with whatever God puts on your plate each day.”

One of the sick people I visited was a young woman who had a great deal on her plate. Despite her pain, she took Our Lady’s request to pray the Rosary every day sincerely. As she prayed, she knelt in front of a crucifix and extended her arm outward as if they were nailed to the cross. When asked why she would simply say, “I want to unite my sufferings with the sufferings of Jesus crucified for the salvation of souls. I want to be like Jesus. I want to do my part to save souls.”

An Unforgettable Gift

There’s a story about a little boy who longed to give his father a birthday present, but he had no money. So, he went to his father and requested some funds to buy the gift. He also added, “Papa could you drive me to the store too?” The boy’s father smiled at his request and they set out for the shops together.

When they arrived, the boy was so overwhelmed by the variety of goods to choose from that he turned to his father in tears, “What should I buy you for your birthday?” His father tenderly replied, “I’d love a bottle of aftershave lotion.” As soon as they got home, the boy entreated his mother to wrap and store it somewhere secretly so his father couldn’t find it.

Finally, the big day dawned. The boy solemnly presented his father with the gift. As he slowly opened it to reveal the aftershave lotion, the father commented lovingly on his son’s thoughtfulness and consideration. The boy beamed with joy and felt ten feet taller.

Out of love, the boy had wanted to give his father a birthday present. Out of love, his father had given his son the money and driven him to the store. Out of love, the boy’s mother had wrapped her son’s gift for her husband. Out of love, the father had praised this son and built up his self-esteem.

Great Resemblance

God is like the boy’s father. Everything we have in this life is God’s gift to us and He has given us everything out of love. He is pleased beyond words when we return His gifts to Him with unconditional child-like love. The boy’s mother is like our Blessed Mother who is delighted to lovingly wrap our presents for God if we would only make the request.

The girl who prayed the rosary with extended arms, and the father who helped his son to buy him a birthday present, have one thing in common. They transformed an everyday activity in their ordinary lives into something beautiful for the love of God and neighbor.

When we stand before God on our last day, we will have to give an account of how we responded each day to the gifts and challenges He gave us. We have been charged with using His gifts to help others in need on their journey towards salvation. When we accept Christ into our lives, we commit to seeking His Will in all our everyday decisions.

Ask yourself each day: How can I perform my ordinary tasks, in an extraordinary way, for the love of God and the salvation of souls? What has God put on my plate today that I can give back to God with unconditional child-like love?

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord. Colossians: 3:23

   God our Father, we praise you and thank you for all the gifts you have given us. Help us to see your great plan through the ordinary means of life. Fill our hearts with your divine love that we may always seek to do everything with great love for you. Amen.

Patrick Hirzel


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