Pause + Pray


Person sitting quietly by water


Quietude is a beautiful yet underused word, defined as stillness or calmness in a person or place. Though perhaps we think it is especially hard to find in today’s world, it was a challenge for Jesus too. Scripture shows us Jesus leaving the clamor to be by himself: “He would withdraw to deserted places to pray” (Lk 5:16).


It is true that noise and distractions
surround me.
I go through my day so overstimulated
by responsibilities, breaking news,
and social media
that I lose myself in the chaos
thinking, somehow, that the world needs me there.
But you teach me that
I can leave the discord
for the quietude within.
Today, I pray that the world’s commotion
is diminished for a bit, and I can find renewal
in the quiet
that fills me.


Are there times during your day that you can take a break into the quiet? Try stepping outside for a few moments to see what is there, or opening a window to breathe in the fresh air. See if you can find new places where that stillness awaits.

Read more from Maureen O’Brien, the author.

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