Advent Exhale

This morning I went to my weekly classes on Judaism, and now I’m home for the rest of the day and evening.  This fact should not be noteworthy, but the recent past has been so booked with meetings and other activities — all worthwhile — that a little time at home is a welcome respite.  None of the aforementioned had anything to do with Christmas shopping, so this is only a pause in the hectic action!

Just now I happened to pick up my copy of Prayers Without Borders: Celebrating Global Wisdom, a collection compiled by Catholic Relief Services that I purchased a few weeks ago at a fundraiser, and found that the following speaks to me perfectly.  I especially resonate with the idea of letting “our souls catch up with our bodies.” Reflective material accompanying this prayer suggests choosing one of the two-line “breath prayers” to center oneself during the day, breathing in on the first line and breathing out on the second.

It Is Good To Be Alive
O God, we take time to pause from daily work to gather our thoughts;
to let our souls catch up with our bodies:
to feel your presence in your creation:
to ask forgiveness for our lapses, ours and on behalf of your people;
and to be ourselves restored.

Breathing in, God’s Spirit calms my body;
breathing out, it’s good to be alive.

Lord Jesus Christ, we take time to gather around you.
By your life and teachings may we find our strength,
and journeying together may we find our rest.

Breathing in, Christ lives in our lives;
breathing out, it’s good to be alive.

Holy Spirit, creative energy of love and compassion,
life embracing, life transforming,
heal our bodies, heal our souls, heal our relationships, heal our nations.

Breathing in, the Spirit heals;
breathing out, it’s good to be alive.

Amen.

By Cora Tabing-Reyes, Christian Conference of Central Asia

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