I first discovered and came to enjoy the reflections of Macrina Wiederkehr several years back through her multiple entries in the magazine Living Faith. Seven Sacred Pauses by this author is a collection of prayerful, lyrical meditations on the Liturgy of the Hours. It’s not a how-to book describing the right way to pray them, but instead, an offering of contemplations on those special times of the day. Who better than a Benedictine sister who lives in a monastic community to put a new spin on an age-old tradition.
There are original prayers, poems, and personal stories included for each of the seven sacred pauses that are filled with beautiful imagery and profound ponderings. Reading this book was praying for me. It calmed me, made me contemplate many aspects of faith, love, charity, service, and mindfulness. Seven Sacred Pauses opened my heart to new possibilities.
The closest I have come to praying the Liturgy of the Hours has been when I’ve used the Magnificat magazine for my daily prayer times. I’ve never had my own breviary, and I worry it would make me anxious to have so many prayers I’d feel like I should fit into the day.
I could certainly handle picking one prayer from each of the suggested ones in Seven Sacred Pauses and use those to help me “live mindfully through the hours of the day.” I could make my own little prayer book to use or I could put my favorite prayers that I haven’t yet memorized on my phone. I could also pray the Liturgy of the Hours using an app and cease to stress over how many of the prayers I manage to get to each day. We'll see how God leads me to more time with Him.
I highly recommend Seven Sacred Pauses for anyone who would like a fresh perspective on the Liturgy of the Hours. Seven Sacred Pauses: Singing Mindfully Dawn Through Dark by Velma Frye is a companion CD available to go with this book. I have not heard it, yet, but I’d like to.
I received a free copy of this book from Ave Maria Press in exchange for an honest book review.For more information or to purchase your own copy, click here.
Macrina's musings can also be found on her blog www.macrina-underthesycamoretree.blogspot.com