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Respiratory Therapy for the Soul

Yesterday the psalm appointed for the Daily Office was #62...

"For God alone my soul in silence waits."

In preparation for a discussion of it, I referenced this little book by Margaret Guenther. It is a beautiful description of the parts of Psalm 62, but what touched me the most on this reading was her introduction called "Come Away and Rest."

In the introduction, Guenther refers to last week's gospel from Matthew when Jesus, dismissed from his own town and then faced with John the Baptist's beheading, takes time for "prayerful withdrawal for replenishment and recreation" despite the fact that it is not a good time considering the political undercurrents and dangers surrounding him. But he did it... setting an important model for us about the necessity of retreat and new spiritual landscape. Guenther says,

"Jesus shows us a rhythm of going out and coming back, of departure and return almost like the regular, life-sustaining rhythm of respiration."

She then continues by explaining the essential parts of retreat and how possible they are for us without going far far away or to a strange land!

1. Intention

2. Discipline

3. Prayerful Place

4. Privacy

5. Focus

If your life is feeling cluttered and you are searching for some summer solace, I encourage this book and the practice of retreat. It will be like respiratory therapy for your soul, and you will be well...all will be well.

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