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Breathing Under Water: Day 4

Posted by Richard Rohr, OFM on 11/12/15, 2:00 AM

Breathing Under WaterBreathing Lessons: O Lord, you have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from far away. You search out my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways. Read Psalm 139 slowly and prayerfully.

Write about your feelings at being known so intimately by God. Ongoing shadow boxing is absolutely necessary because we all have a well-denied shadow self. We all have that which we cannot see, will not see, dare not see. It would destroy our public and personal self-image.

Do some shadow boxing as a physical activity. Don’t try to overthink it. Let your body lead you to the inner space where your shadow lives. What feelings arise as you move back and forth with this hidden side of yourself? Only the soul knows that we grow best in the shadowlands. We are blinded inside of either total light or total darkness, but “the light shines on inside the darkness, and it is a light that darkness cannot overcome” (John 1:5). In darkness we find and ever long for more light.

Sit in a darkened room for a period of time, perhaps ten or fifteen minutes. Let your thoughts dwell on the darkness, on how you feel in the dark. Then light a candle. Focus on the light. Notice how it fills the space around itself and expands into the dark room. After a time, turn on a light in the room and again notice the effect of the candle’s light.

How does that candle represent the presence of the Light of the World?

Sacred Words
“All the time I kept silent and my bones wasted
away. I groaned day in and day out, my heart
grew parched as stubble in summer drought,
and at last I admitted to you that I had sinned
and no longer concealed my guilt.”
—Psalm 32:3–5

“So confess your sins to one another, and pray
for one another, and this will cure you.”
—James 5:16

“If you forgive others their sins, they are
indeed forgiven. If you withhold forgiveness
from one another, they are held bound.”
—John 20:23


Breathing Under Water

Topics: Richard Rohr, Spirituality, Inspiration, Breathing Under Water