I had a very challenging posterior birth of our second son. The agony was beyond my comprehension and at one point, when the pain was wildly out of control, I started to hyperventilate. I was breathing so fast, but felt like I couldn’t get any oxygen to my body. It was terrifying. I needed my body to use oxygen, but it wouldn’t.
Sometimes I feel this same breathlessness during my normal days. There are moments when my day seems to spin wildly out of control, careening from one crisis to the next. Like by 7:15 when the simple direction, “please get in the car” has elicited a total meltdown and loss of all privledges for the day. Or when one child is throwing up in the car while another is waiting for me to come in to pick him up at his Sacrament Prep class and my husband is on a place to somewhere far away. Anyone responsible for taking care of others surely has their own examples. Despite wanting to live a recollected life, sometimes it feels like all the breath is sucked out of me.
These are days when I just need for my soul to breathe, but feel like I can’t, because I am so wrapped up in the crisis of the moment. These are the days when I need so much grace. These are the days when my prayers are aspirations. Breaths. Short prayers of supplication. To a Heavenly Father who knows just what I need. Oxygen for my unsettled soul.
St. Josemaria writes, “There will be other occasions on which all we’ll need will be two or three words, said with the quickness of a dart, ejaculatory prayers, aspirations that we learn from a careful reading of Christ’s life: “Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.” ”Lord, you know all things, you know that I love you.” ”Lord, I do believe, but help my unbelief,” strengthen my faith. “Lord, I am not worthy.” ”My Lord and my God!”… or other short phrases, full of affection, that spring from the soul’s intimate fervour and correspond to the different circumstances of each day.”
Aspirations. Little breaths of prayer in those challenging times. To help me remember why I’m doing what I’m doing, to restore my peace.