At a meeting with members of the Catholic Fraternity of the Charismatic Covenant Communities and Fellowship, Pope Francis described prayer using the analogy of breathing:
“Praise is the ‘breath’ which gives us life, because it is intimacy with God, an intimacy that grows through daily praise …
Breathing is made up of two stages: inhaling, the intake of air, and exhaling, the letting out of this air. The spiritual life is fed, nourished, by prayer and is expressed outwardly through mission: inhaling and exhaling. When we inhale, by prayer, we receive the fresh air of the Holy Spirit. When exhaling this air, we announce Jesus Christ risen by the same Spirit. No one can live without breathing. It is the same for the Christian: without praise and mission there is no Christian life. And with praise, worship. We rarely speak about worship. What do we do when we pray? We ask things of God, we give thanks … But worshipping and adoring God is part of breathing – praise and worship”.
A Breathing Meditation
Take a moment to become still. Focus on your breathing. Observe your breath moving in and out of your body.
As you breathe in, be conscious of the ways in which you receive God’s love.
As you breathe out, call to mind the ways in which you share God’s love.
Now let go of thoughts. Continue breathing to the mantra…
breathing in I receive God’s love …
breathing out I share God’s love.
Conclude with a gesture of gratitude for God’s love.