Breathing

woman breathing fresh air - photo by Caique Silva on Unsplash

While we’re often called to actively participate in God’s good work in the world, sometimes God tells us to stop for a bit and just receive. Sometimes I have a lot of trouble actually stopping. So, God makes it very clear, sending things like summer break, people who make a point of telling me to stop and recharge, and these poems.

Stop Being Bound

Stop being bound
by the gift of time;
unsnare yourself
from your skills
to organize and optimize;
use-each-minute-best
less;
instead,
stop
and see
and receive
the many gifts
I give each minute;
receive each breath
as My intent
to fill you full
of all that’s good
and put all else away;
let your soul
be,
just be,
with Me;
that will be
doing
enough
for now.

Today My Job Is Breathing

Today my job is breathing.

God is looking after
all the needs, the tasks, the souls;

today I’m to receive;

today I’m just to rest,
to open and wait,
letting stillness fill me,

to marvel at God’s closeness,
to notice how creation
reveals God’s constant care,

to wonder at God’s breath
in me and all
that God has caused to be.

I Want You

Do you know why I made you?

To invite the world into Your heart?

No,
not fundamentally;
I made you because
I love you;
I made you because
I wanted to be with you,
and have you be with Me;
I wanted you.
People forget,
confuse the mission
with the reason;
soon they
stop hearing the birds singing,
stop seeing how I provide,
put joy aside;
so I made the Sabbath,
which people so often
now clutter with tasks;
so I give you leisure,
and ardently ask you to remember:
it’s not the tasks I’m after,
no matter how much good they do;
I made you because
I love you;
I want you.

Photo by Caique Silva on Unsplash.

About Mary Ellen Smajo 11 Articles
Mary Ellen Smajo has been savoring and writing responses to sacred moments since early high school, when she first began to notice and reflect on God’s tangible actions in our lives. She is a (“very happy and grateful!”) member of the Ignatian Volunteer Corps and serves as the music minister for IVC Chicago. Prior to joining IVC, she worked in clinical education; before that she worked as a medical physicist in the hospital setting. Her PhD is in medical physics, and she did her undergrad at Loyola University Chicago. “These poems are God’s; may they do the work for which they were sent. Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam.”

19 Comments on Breathing

  1. Hi Pat,

    I’m grateful for your kind affirmation that the poems “hit the spot”, and I appreciate your desire to see a collection published. While having a book published one day is still a dream of mine, at present I have not made progress on that front.

    I remain incredibly grateful to dotMagis for providing a means for the poems to do their work in the lives of so many, reaching many more people than most books would reach. Also, I think there’s a lot of wisdom in Alessandra’s insight that the poems make a greater impact when read a few at a time, in the way that dotMagis provides.

    Perhaps one day a book will become a reality. Please feel free to continue to inquire from time to time.
    :^)

    Thank you!
    Mary Ellen

  2. Thank you once again, Mary Ellen. Your beautiful and inspiring words very much resonate with me and as we often say over here, “they hit the spot.”
    A few months ago, I asked you if you were considering trying to have your wonderful poems published? Are you any further with this idea?
    Thank you again.
    Pat- North East England.

  3. Your poems are just great and very timely.
    I am more and more convinced, that this opportunity to read them in little ‘pills’, makes them even more effective: It is a sort of homeopatic therapy.
    Moreover, the choice you make every month is so appropriate to enrich them with the added value of catching the right feeling in each single reader.
    Still, they show your attitude to fix in a few simple words the most deep and puzzling issues we usually tend to put aside from our everyday life.
    You really have a great gift, and I think you found a great way to share it!
    Alessandra (Italy)

  4. Today My Job Is Breathing. I do Anti-Gravity Yoga. Our teacher says always, “breath,” and I do. Deeply. Inhale. Exhale. Today I receive. Breath In.And breath out. So simple. In the midst of complexity lies simplicity. Thank you for saying it so well. And simply. Breath. Receive. He is There. Do you feel Him?

  5. Dear Mary Ellen,
    Many Thanks!
    These poems, words from God through you, are now occupying the center place on my glass table top.
    Peace and Joy to you and your loved ones.
    Letty

  6. Perfect timing Mary Ellen. Thanks for sharing your wonderful poem. I forgot to listen to the birds this morning on my walk, which is one of my favorite things to do. I was so distracted I forgot I had even taken a walk.

  7. As I read your comments, I’m filled with gratitude and amazement. You’ve let me glimpse how God is using these poems to accomplish many works of grace in many circumstances. Thank you so much for giving me this gift!

    Mary Ellen

  8. I am forwarding this poem to a new young pastor who I often remind him to slow down and wait for God. He is young and full of a love of Christ and his flock
    A good friend in Christ

  9. Thank you so much. The poems are so relevant for me now and give me the reassurance I need that I can rest in God’s love and goodness. They are poems that I will keep and refer back to.

  10. Beautiful, relevant to so many who never stop or can’t seem to be able to. Work, Family, doing good works and the pace of living. Be Still and know that HE is with us. Thank you. A.M.D.G.

  11. Thank you so much, Mary. Thirteen months ago I had two vertebras broken, ten days before traveling to Sicily to serve in the migrants and refugees centres there (as I had done in summer 2016 and, in the Colombian border, in summer 2015 with the JRS). The doctors told me I have osteoporosis. So far, after hundreds of medical tests, they don’t know what caused the osteoporosis and they don’t even know if I’m going to be able to work again. In these months I’ve asked God many times: ‘what do you want me to do from now on?’ ‘how am I going to be able to serve in the frontiers?’ Reading your poems I’ve found out that perhaps he only wants me to breathe and feel his presence everywhere, everyday…
    From a CLC member in Seville, Spain, thanks.

  12. These poems were surely meant for me, today. I will email to myself and hubby and print them out.

    Thank you, so much and Thanks to God, I feel his forgiveness and understanding from an event yesterday that I was beating myself up about.

    Now I feel more at peace.

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