Minute Meditations

Ordinary and Extraordinary

man sits on a mountain | Photo by Elijah Hiett on Unsplash

“And while he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became dazzling white” (Luke 9:29).

The transfiguration was an extraordinary moment. Such moments don’t happen very often. But when they do, they change everything.

Perhaps the greatest experience of Francis’s life took place on Mount La Verna. Having prayed long and hard to share in the sufferings of Christ crucified, he had a vision of a six-winged seraph and of Jesus on the cross. He received the marks of the nails in his hands and feet, as well as the gash left by the spear that pierced Jesus’s side. But he was careful to keep the wounds hidden. Francis didn’t want to call attention to his experience in a way that would sensationalize it. Francis under- stood that the essential message of living a Gospel life was to follow in the footsteps of Jesus.

For most of us, the extraordinary experiences are hidden in something quite ordinary. A job opportunity takes us someplace we never imagined we would be, and our experiences there change us immeasurably. Or we meet someone who brings us to a completely new awareness of the power of faith in our everyday activities. We don’t need to go looking for extraordinary, mountaintop experiences. We need to be present to each moment in our daily lives.

—from the book Lent with St. Francis: Daily Reflections by Diane M. Houdek

Lent with St. Francis


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