I am travelling away from home during these marked days. I will be travelling to enter the delightful, loving chaos that days with children and grandchildren offer. I’ve chosen this travelling gratefully, but it opens questions in me.
I will miss the time of deep attentiveness and ritual that are usually my practice during this cluster of days. This is a time in the gracious circle of the Christian year when the knot pulls tight, the grief clenches and then is undone, allowing the flood of joy into all the heaviness we carry.
This is a season when I feel in my own body the loneliness of Christ, the grief and betrayal, and Christ’s trust in the divine life, in the midst of ignominy and pain. Then, I feel the joy that results from his beautiful steadfastness. I feel it quietly, with the deep, free breathing of humility and with the tears that come when we are gathered up into beauty by one who loves us unreservedly.
How do I stay with Christ in the last days of his journey as I live in an uproar of little girls and love, even on Good Friday and Holy Saturday?
I’ve answered my question with a commitment to breath prayers. Waking in the morning, lying down at night, in the small moments between one activity or another, my breath will turn me toward the mystery. In this, as in so much of my life of the Spirit, my body will carry me deeper.
So, I’ve been writing breath prayers. I want to share some with you in case you too are travelling, physically or in spirit these days. May you risk the road and be graced by what you haven’t planned.
Choose one prayer for each day or string each day’s prayers together like beads. Pause for a wordless, spacious breath before you begin . Let your breath slow and still you. Then inhale on the first phrase of your prayer and exhale the second. Come close to the One who comes close to you.
You have washed / my feet
You have touched / my body
You have fed / my hunger
I release / my own betrayals
I feel / your salt tears
To You / I trust my spirit
I hold / the holy emptiness
I breathe / the potent darkness
I cease / my argument with mystery
I risk / the wash of joy
I dance / with all creation
You have risen / in my life