Customs and traditions help us see the connection between the human and the holy: "If there is no way to connect the normal with the wonderful, what can possibly give the little things in life spiritual meaning?" (page 173) These words have resonance with earlier passages in Chittister's book -- to live an ordinary life extraordinarily well.
Silence is important. "Silence is an antidote to the turmoil that is manufactured to distract us from the important things of life." (page 171) Silence centers us -- and brings us closer to the divine. Custom and ritual (which are elements of spiritual practice) provide us with a lens to see the Divine.
We are a couple of days away from Christmas. A time when the power of the birth story breaks into the night silence -- and we carry out customs and traditions that both honor that story and bring us closer to it. Take note of the silence. Pay attention to the ritual -- a ritual that you engage in individually, as a family -- and/or as a community. It will serve as a reaching out to a God who is so eager to reach out to us.