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Seven Sacred Pauses: Living Mindfully Through the Hours of the Day Paperback – October 25, 2010

4.6 out of 5 stars 65 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"You are holding in your hands not only a book of readings and instruction for the journey, but one monastic's heart of love held out to a searching world." --Paula D'Arcy, Author of Gift of the Red Bird (from the foreword)

"'Time is money, and money is scarce.' All who are driven by this double misconception get squeezed into a frantic rat race. Macrina Wiederkehr shows you a way out." --David Steindl-Rast, O.S.B., Author of The Music of Silence

"This terrific book brings the ancient prayer of the Church into modern focus as the author invites the readers to mark the moments of the day with prayer. [Wiederkehr] offers inspiration galore to feed the soul in simple, yet profound everyday--hourly--ways." --Religion Teacher's Journal

"A wonderful resource for those who routinely pray the hours, whether communally or privately. It offers an effective antidote to the monotony and distraction that can imperceptibly drain daily prayer of life and meaning. Reading this book, one will awaken to the deeper symbolic dimensions of each hour and thereby be able to redirect one's energy towards a fuller, faith-filled, cosmic participation." --Cistercian Studies Quarterly

"This inspiring devotional resource will serve as a catalyst to spur your own practice of being present and paying attention to the sacred rhythms of the day." -- --Spirituality & Practice

About the Author

Macrina Wiederkehr, O.S.B., is a popular retreat guide and author who makes her home with the monastic community of St. Scholastica in Fort Smith, Arkansas. Wiederkehr is the best-selling author of six previous books including A Tree Full of Angels and The Circle of Life, which she co-authored with Joyce Rupp. Visit her online at macrina-underthesycamoretree.blogspot.com.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Sorin Books (October 25, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933495243
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933495248
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.5 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #55,348 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I love well-designed little books like this one, which I can tuck into a big pocket, purse or work bag -- to add a new season of spiritual discipline to my life.

Sister Macrina Wiederkehr adapts traditional, daily cycles of prayer with thoughtful themes to focus our meditations and offers all kinds of resources: from specific prayers and readings we can use to little meditation-provoking nuggets of wisdom from a variety of writers.

In the introduction of her book, she reminds us that the original rule of St. Benedict called on monks to pray their way through all 150 Psalms each week -- a daunting task in today's busy world. So, she writes, "this book is to provide you with poetic reflection material on the spirit of the hours rather than the historical text of the hours."

I also appreciate her breadth of selections in the book from scriptures themselves to lines by W.H. Auden, Kahlil Gibran and Eleanor Roosevelt.

Nicely done. Nicely packaged. A great companion for a new season.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a gem of a prayer, and contemplative book. Like the monks' practice of the Daily, this gives all of us a guide and text to use in dividing and divining our day into 7 parts set aside to rememeber God and who and what we are -- or ought to be as Christians. If you ever envied the Moslems' daily call to prayer, here is your Chrisitan alternitive.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have long been a fan of Macrina which is why I purchased this book. What I got was more than I could have imagined. Her book brings us back and shows us the wisdom , many of us have forgotten , of taking the time to stop. To take a few minutes seven times a day so that we can really live our lives to the fullest. In this crazy busy world what could be important than to get in tune with the natural pauses of day and clear our minds of the clutter that keeps us from realizing the life we were meant to live.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"If you want to he attentive to your soul, you simply must find ways to honor your need to acquire a sense of rhythm in your life-some kind of balance in your work, leisure, and prayer." (Weiderkehr)

How can ordinary people practice a rhythm of pausing and noticing, noticing the work and presence of God in their world?

Why are the Divine Hours a helpful rhythm of prayer?

A few years ago I discovered the Divine Hours - those ancient rhythms of prayer that purposefully take one through the day with the Lord, pausing in the middle of the day for small conversation. I've discovered wonderful prayerbooks that guide through the hours, but it wasn't until I came across a Benedictine Short Breviary that I had seen a prayerbook that really guided through all seven hours (see below).

I quickly purchased that Breviary and excitedly kept company with the Lord on the seven hours, with some routine, but a lot of struggle to keep the rhythm. Carrying that little book with me everywhere as well as trying to pause in the middle of the day was a tough discipline to establish. I enjoyed, however, the significance of the pauses in the day; each pause and time of prayer had a certain something to add to that time of day, even projecting and connecting times of life to times of the day.

To illustrate what I enjoyed, this comes from Weiderkehr's book: "We practice pausing to remember the sacredness of our names, who we are, and what we plan on doing with the incredible gift of our lives-and how we can learn to be in the midst of so much doing. We have to practice loving and forgiving. We practice breathing and being careful with one another's life. We practice nonviolence. We practice enjoying what we have rather than storing up possessions. We practice silence.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
While the structure of this work is around the monastic "hours" of prayer, this should not be off-putting for those unfamiliar with this style of prayer. There is a wealth of information and ideas on how to practice the "sacred pause" during one's day in order to become aware of the present moment and of Divine presence in all those moments. One must also be willing to PRACTICE pausing in order for it to become a regular and natural occurrence. Ah, there is the rub--it requires intention and effort to grow one's spirituality. Therefore I have been praying for this grace. Yesterday while shoveling an autumn Colorado snow, an overburdened tree relieved her burden of snow on top of my head. Normally I would have gotten angry (at what, I'm not sure). After reading this book and trying to practice more faithfully the "sacred pause," I found my reaction different. The thought came to me that the tree needed my attention, so I shook some more branches to relieve her burden and I heard her "thank" me. The thought also came that I needed to pay more mindful attention to what I was doing beyond getting the chore done. I was breathing in refreshing air and getting exercise. I was aware of all the leaves that had been released, surrendering to the natural call to 'let go.' What did I need to surrender, to let go? That question has remained with me. A very different outcome than simply relief at getting a chore done! Purchase this book if you are willing to invest the effort; it is a gold mine of support for those efforts. Otherwise, you will likely continue to complain about the busyness or "mundaness" of your life leaving no room for nurturing your heart-soul. Personally, complaining has rarely changed anything in my life. This book will.
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