Issue Date: March 7, 2008
Benedictine Sr. Macrina Wiederkehr is a member of St. Scholastica Monastery in Fort Smith, Ark. An important component of her spiritual practice involves honoring each day in a mindful and prayerful way as it progresses and passes. She offers help for observing what she calls the seven sacred pauses, which are key daily moments of keeping vigil in concert with the traditional monastic liturgy of the hours.
These hours are important archetypal images of the rhythm and movement of the day. The wisdom of pausing at these sacred times is a treasure that ought not be lost. For this reason I am offering you a way of continuing the ancient dance of the hours. Hopefully you will be drawn to make these seven sacred pauses a part of your daily practice, she writes.
She believes that practice is one of the most important words in the spiritual life. We have to practice loving and forgiving. We practice nonviolence. We practice enjoying what we have rather than storing up possessions.
I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder, wrote Gilbert Keith Chesterton. He was an early 20th-century Catholic man for all seasons, who wrote in a variety of genres, including poetry, biography, fiction, even mysteries. He debated the foremost intellectuals of his day -- H.G. Wells, Bernard Shaw, Bertrand Russell. In this book he is mentor and spiritual guide through the Lenten and Easter season. Quotes from his work are balanced with scripture readings, prayers and suggested exercises in this useful and inspiring book.
-- Rich Heffern
National Catholic Reporter, March 7, 2008
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