Seven Sacred Pauses

Throughout the centuries men and women of all faiths have punctuated their day with prayer. In the Christian tradition this is formalised in the Liturgy of the Hours. Sr Macrina Wiederkehr osb draws on her Benedictine life in her book Seven Sacred Pauses and suggests a framework for prayer throughout the day. Her framework is simple: just pause.

( Press play for music during your reflection.)

As the light of a new day dawns I pause and give thanks for all that will unfold this day.

In the middle of the morning I pause, take a breath and welcome the Spirit who brings blessing to my work.

At Midday I pause and allow the light of God's truth to flood my heart. I ask God to dispel all that would entangle me. I ask for clear sight and courage.

At mid-afternoon I pause and hold before God all the things that I would like to finish. I ask for peace for all that can be completed and all that can't.

As the shadows lengthen I give thanks for God's presence throughout this day. What has been the greatest blessing of this day? Where has God's power been revealed to me?

Before I drift into sleep I pause for a final time and review the day. I ask for forgiveness and strength, and surrender myself to God. I ask that as the night enfolds me, God will heal and bless me. 

O Pilgrim of the Hours

Each morning
night's curtain
opens on a new day.
You are invited
to join the great opening.
Open your ears.
Open your heart.
Open your eyes
to the sacred path
you travel every day,
the path of the hours.

Greet the hours
with joyful awareness.
Greet the hours
with faithful presence.
Greet the hours
with a reverential bow.
Greet the hours
with a sacred pause.

Reverence each hour
as a small stepping stone
on your pilgrimage
through the day.
Receive the gift
of seven sacred pauses.
Practice waking up
seven times a day.

Macrina Wiederkehr

Simply by pausing seven times during the day we have sanctified our work, our rest and our relationships.