The Spirit Works in Green Time


Green is the liturgy’s color for ordinary time. Not white, the bright light of Eastertime, or red the color of blood and fire. or purple the color of penance. Green is earth’s color, color of slow growing trees and grasses, of ordinary time.

An unknown 4th century spiritual writer describes the ordinary ways the Holy Spirit works in us. “In varied and different ways” invisible grace leads us. Ordinary time doesn’t mean that every day’s the same.  Sometimes we find ourselves sad at the state of things; sometimes we joyfully hold the whole world in our arms. Sometimes we feel helpless; sometimes we think there’s nothing we can’t do. Sometimes we’re brave; sometimes we escape into the supposed safety of ourselves looking for peace.

“… The soul becomes like any other human being.” Which means, I guess, that we don’t feel spiritual at all.

Far from taking us away from the human condition, the Spirit leads us by human steps in human time. Ordinary time is the natural roller-coaster of life, all right, but the Spirit leads us on.

That’s why the psalms are such wonderful prayers. They’re the great prayers of ordinary time. They take us from one human experience to another. If you don’t experience what a certain psalm describes, wait awhile–you will.

Green is the Season

Green is the season after Pentecost.
The Holy Ghost in an abstracted place
spreads out the languid summer of His peace,
unrolls His hot July.
O leaves of love, O chlorophyll of grace.
Native to all is this contemplative summer.
The soul that finds its way through Pentecost
knows this green solitude at once as homeland.
Only the heart, earth held and time engrossed,
dazed by this unforeknown and blossoming nowhere,
troubles itself with adjectives like “lost.”

Jessica Powers, 1954

5 thoughts on “The Spirit Works in Green Time

  1. Anita Lewis

    Some of the leading has been dramatic with nearly audible words of strong guidance, but mostly it has been such normal, human events. I bet I’ve only labeled a small portion of it as spiritual leading, but there have been so many times that I look back over events and realize: “That was God!”


  2. Gloria

    The Spirit is many-colored.


    Oh God-
    I reach down
    into the depths of me
    and pull out my gray spirit.

    I raise it up high to you
    through bare tree limbs,
    to the sun,
    to the sky,
    to the clouds,
    in search of the light that you are.

    It’s hard to be gray.

    Kermit the Frog sang,
    “It isn’t easy being green…”

    Maybe so for Kermit,
    but I think
    it’s lovelier being green
    than being gray.

    Gloria Ziemienski
    November 2007


  3. Gloria

    Fr. Victor: I forgot to thank you including for Jessica Powers’ beautiful words.
    She speaks to my heart.


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