Pausing for reflection in our everyday lives

Dec 20, 2023 | Blog Articles

We have all had the experience that every journey, every path, requires moments of pause and reflection, in which to regain strength and recall what we have traveled and the direction of travel. Sometimes when we walk, we often get tired, or we don’t always get the direction right and it is essential for us to stop and reflect.

The more strenuous the journey, the more we will need to stop, refresh, rest, eat and see if the course is correct. The break helps us to calm down, look at the map, evaluate the route and measure the strength to continue. Some breaks will be scheduled, because knowing the map and calculating the times, we will stop at certain times and fixed places. Sometimes we walk in the sunshine, sometimes in the rain, or other times under cloudy skies. Some breaks will be unplanned but necessary. For that we have to be attentive and docile to the signs of fatigue, or surprise, that we feel along the way. Other times we will need to verify that the map does not coincide with the route and that what was planned is not in reality, so to continue in the desired direction it will be necessary to stop and reorient our course.

This is what happens to us in spiritual life, it is necessary to take breaks along the way, for which we use spiritual reflection. We stop to look at the impact that the encounters and circumstances along the way have had on us, how they leave us, whether we have to “feed the heart,” catch our breath, rest, change course or even go back, retracing what we have traveled if necessary to maintain the direction of travel. Reflection helps us to be grateful for what we have done, learn from our mistakes and plan the next stretch of the road ahead. That is why The Way of the Heart invites us at every step to do this spiritual practice of reflection, so much so that it becomes a habit. Sometimes it will be the daily reflection, the one scheduled for the end of the day. But other times the journey of life will invite us to read the events of the day, a meeting, a job, a moment of recreation, a decision to discover in it if we have taken the “course of the Lord,” or if we have gotten lost by paths that will take us to some abyss that we would not have wanted to reach.

Pausing and reflecting in the midst of our journey is one of the two fundamental practices of The Way of the Heart, on which the path taken by the apostle of Christ is based. The other is to base the prayer life on the word of God.

Bettina Raed
International Coordinator The Way of the Heart


The Pope’s Official Prayer Network

We pray that religious women and men, and seminarians grow in their own vocations through their human, pastoral, spiritual and community formation, leading them to be credible witnesses to the Gospel.