Cardinal Newman once said that to be perfect we have nothing more to do than to perform the normal duties of the day well. What does that mean? It seems to say that to grow spiritually all I have to do is what I usually do but to do it well. What becomes the ordinary is, at some beginning point, something I desired.
You asked the two disciples, the blind man, Bartimaeus and the lame man at the pool, what it was they desired. You granted what they wanted and, over time, sight and the ability to walk became ordinary. Thus You are very much concerned with what is ordinary in our lives. And, if You are concerned with it, we should be too. Hence this concern for the ordinary should translate into doing something about it, which is what Newman is saying. Spectacular displays of kindness, generosity, and compassion are not necessarily what it’s about. The saint of brilliant simplicity, Theresa of Lisieux, grasped this. Sorting out the really small things of our daily lives, the mechanical, unconscious actions, the mindless voluntary and involuntary motions can be most enlightening and enriching when considered consciously in Your presence.
Doing the ordinary well means attributing consequence to what we normally ignore as inconsequential. Love gives consequence to actions. Love for others and for You is the perfection of all activity. When love is found in doing laundry, cleaning the toilet, painting the house, shopping, or driving the kids to school and all similar “mindless” tasks we begin to grasp St. Theresa’s “little way” and Cardinal Newman’s path to perfection.