Volume 8 #51
Embrace the Ordinary
Dear Parishioners,

Many people complain about the ordinary until they no longer have it. When it’s disrupted, we want it back. Embrace the ordinary!  Cherish your routines! Here are some of mine. 

When I entered the military decades ago, I met a Tech Sergeant during my sojourn in the desert of Oman (south of Saudi Arabia) who encouraged me to join him in running. (I was over 40 and had never exercised). He said I’d be running 5 miles daily by my birthday six months away. His patience and encouragement paid off and I met that goal and continued my five-mile daily runs throughout my time in the military. Coming back to civilian life, after a bout with colon cancer, I was no longer able to run, but I could walk and that’s what I do now on a regular, almost daily basis. Fit Club is one of my favorite hangouts. Having a partner (read: conscience) is also important. Since the pandemic I’ve had to walk outside, but still value the importance and need of exercise.
Many of you know I also enjoy cooking, especially being a soux chef. There’s something relaxing and creative in preparing vegetables and ingredients. And the possibility of adding more fruits and vegetables to my diet (and my sister/brother-in-law) is a great complement to the day. I’ve even started to try my hand at baking: the other day I tried hamburger buns and they were like rocks—but it will get better. Bill Lang is going to show me how to make a pie.
There is also a healthy and wholesome sense of perspective in revisiting books that ask the big questions about how people endure. Somewhere, there is a mental balance to be struck between allowing ourselves to feel sad for what’s happening, and trying to stay as calm and positive as possible. Books can help enormously.

I’m in the middle of Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl. It recounts his 1946 experience in a Nazi concentration camp. Read in today’s context, it reminds me that every day of shelter-in-place is a day in paradise.
These are some of my ways to make chaos a little more bearable. How are things with you?


Fr. John Nolan
St. Joseph the Worker
700 E Spruce St
Chatham, IL 62629
Phone: 217-483-3772
Fax: 217-483-4581
Email: stjos@comcast.net
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