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Papa Francis The First | His Holiness Papa Francisco

Relax–and Strengthen...

Today we welcome guest blogger Kathy Coffey. This comes from the “Living Simply” column in St. Anthony Messenger.

A simple cure for frustration, stress or fatigue isn’t always found in the pharmacy or medicine cabinet. Instead, it’s closer to home: a deep, belly breath. Breathing has always been sacred to the world’s religious traditions. We believe that humanity began when God breathed life into us (Genesis 2:7), and that Jesus continued this gift by breathing the Holy Spirit into the disciples (John 20:22).

At stressful times, we take short, shallow breaths. But what we need most then is more oxygen, not less. It may be the easiest New Year’s resolution you’ve ever made. Allow the breath to anchor and energize, naturally.

So the next time you want to scream at a salesperson or collapse for a nap, try this source of calm and energy instead.

Inhale so that your stomach swells like a balloon. (Place one hand there to make sure it’s happening.) Pause, then exhale completely so the stomach is slightly hollowed.

Then match prayer to breath. Spontaneous words are good: “Thank you for the breath of life.” Or borrow from the Bible: “It’s good to be here.” “I came that you might have life.” Or Rumi: “Lord, how good the air smells today!”

****Image from Shutterstock.com/Olivier Le Moal

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"And now let us begin this journey, the Bishop and people, this journey of the Church of Rome, which presides in charity over all the Churches, a journey of brotherhood in love, of mutual trust. Let us always pray for one another. Let us pray for the whole world that there might be a great sense of brotherhood.

I will now give my blessing to you and to the whole world, to all men and women of good will."

-Papa Francis quote

He does not know you, yet he prays for you.
He will most likely never meet you, yet he loves you.

This is your chance to show your love, for as the Bible teaches, "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven."