Dear Reader: Breathing Lessons

When I first bought an Apple Watch, I was puzzled when it would remind me to breathe. Two notifications a day, in fact, to breathe deeply for 120 total seconds. I shouldn’t be encouraged to do something involuntary. It’s like being reminded to blink. After a day, I turned off that function. In September 2022, however, I now realize how foolish it was to turn those notifications off. Given everything we’ve endured the last two years, we must remember to breathe. Culturally, collectively, readily. Life is too hard to neglect our peace of mind.

In this month’s issue, we offer Terry Hershey’s article “The Spirituality of Standing Still.” In it, he writes about how important it is to find a place to go when life is topsy-turvy. “More than ever,” he writes, “we need sustenance, places of sanity and restoration. What we’ve been through—or are going through—we need permission to give ourselves the gift of stillness and sanctuary.”

That’s good advice. But in the noise of 21st-century life, how many of us put it into practice?

If you’re reading these words, you are at least open to a restorative moment of calm. And that’s really our goal. While features and columns within this issue are intended to inform, ultimately, the staff of St. Anthony Messenger and Franciscan Media wants you to feel OK. Even when life is upside down—by the economy, political infighting, a global pandemic—if you are reading this magazine, you’re not alone. We are with you on this journey. And that is something to celebrate.

Breathe in. Breathe out. Repeat.

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