The most complex spiritual problems we encounter can often be solved with taking two pieces of advice:
Breathe deeply, and exercise kindness. This can have a dramatic effect.
For the two of them — resting in the Lord with prayer, inhaling the Holy Spirit, and letting charity, your best lovingkindness, fall upon everyone you encounter or think about — will bring you toward the ultimate goal of direct entry into Heaven. “Behold, I will cause breath to enter you that you may come to life” (Ezekiel 37:5).
In short, simplify. What saint wasn’t simple and relaxed, even under duress?
It was with a spank from the doctor and the first breath upon birth that we earnestly began life (Genesis 2:7: “Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being”), and we end it with a final exhalation, as the salvation of the world ensued when on the Cross Jesus “breathed His last” (Luke 23:46). Inhale deeply of Him during the Rosary, during Adoration, during Mass and you will enter into a greater depth of connection.
Close your eyes and take a deep breath slowly. Yet, do not stray into Eastern meditation. We are speaking about recollecting the spirit to focus on Christ.
Often, we overly complicate our lives, turning problems (better seen as “challenges”) over and over again in our heads, churning them and our interiors inside out. Our breathing is labored (Jeremiah 15:9).
We struggle with this person or that person — this situation or another, or a number! — and become overwhelmed with the nuances of obsession. (“I have so many things I need to do! I don’t know where to start. What can I do? It’s impossible. I can’t change.”) Over and over we obsess.
Yet, there is the simple solution: Step back. Take deep breaths. Let God breathe anew into you. Actually learn how to breathe deeply, no matter the rush. Exercise lovingkindness. Recite the Rosary. How’s that for simplicity?
If you do these things, many other spiritual goals — humility, discipline, discernment, honesty, purgation — will fall into place.
Take deep breaths — not the yogic kind, but working to relax more through the day, letting the Holy Spirit speak. When we’re too busy, He can’t get through our mental noise! How “hyper” — how rushed — was Jesus?
Bible in hand, the Stations in hand, the beads of Mary, retreat onto the desert. Work at relaxing. Make up your mind to. When you take it slow you often get more done. The devil gives us frenzy. He saps our energy. He makes us think of things that are irrelevant in the long-term, while The Lord grants us: peace. And when we are in His favor, when we exercise kindness, this is His sign: tranquility.
This can bust through obstacles. This is simplicity and equipoise, Jesus-style.
Christ waits for you, in the desert. He wants to contemplate with you, to pray alongside you, and you alongside Him. He needs the full attention that comes from collecting ourselves. He wants to work through your love. To those who give mercy (kindness), He grants mercy. This is the season of sacrificing ourselves to that end.
“In the midst of all the responsibilities and distractions, Jesus maintained a habit that is an example for us to follow,” noted a preacher. “Mark 1:35 says, ‘Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray.’ He often withdrew from the busyness of the day to quiet places where He could connect with His Father in Heaven. He also tells us in Matthew 6, ‘When you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, Who is unseen. Then your Father, Who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.’ Jesus was saying, ‘Not only do I need to get away to be with My Father in secret prayer, but so do you.’ And know that when you do, the great unseen God will reward you”!
Jesus made a concerted effort to disconnect from the “world,” and that allowed Him to be in direct contact with angels — to be encouraged by them, to be strengthened. So might we.
Sure, it’s hard to disconnect in such wired times. Our families and jobs keep us busy; there’s e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, trending news, and the “worlds” of sports and entertainment — distractions, is another way of saying it.
Just like Jesus had His challenges (namely, the devil, taking Him to the tower), there’s always something to pull you away.
But here’s a solution: Take a deep breath and chase away the next anxiety Satan flings at you. Isn’t he the expert at that — worrying and preoccupying you, making you too busy? Breathe deeply to stop your mind from racing afar from where it should be, which is centered on Jesus and His peaceful, quiet, transcendental way.
[resources: A Life of Blessings]