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I wonder how often you’re aware of your breathing? Perhaps when you’ve exerted yourself and are ‘out of breath’… or perhaps on a winter’s morning when you can ‘see’ your breath in the cold air? I guess most of the time we simply take our breathing for granted. We breath without thought - we don’t need to be awake or to tell ourselves to breathe! We just breath - in and out. As you read - as I write - our breathing continues.

I’ve recently come across an insight from Father Richard Rohr. The Hebrew name for God is Yahweh. However, in Hebrew, you only write the consonants, so Yahweh becomes YHWH. Fr Rohr learnt, from a Jewish Rabbi, that the vowels between the consonants YHWH are meant to be added without closing your mouth and this produces two sounds ‘yah’ and ‘weh’ which sound like breathing in and out. Confused? Try it! Say ‘yah-weh’, without closing your mouth - it imitates the sound of breathing.

Fr Rohr explains how with every single breath therefore, we proclaim the name of God. The very first ‘word’ we said when we were born, with our first breath, was the name of God. We’re saying it all the time, as is every other person on the planet! We’re all connected in that with each breath, each of us says God’s name - each breath is a prayer. The very last thing we will say, with our very last breath, is the name of God.

I find this incredibly profound and thought-provoking… I wonder if you do too?

Rev'd Julia

July 2019