At various times, I have heard that we often breathe very shallowly and cause ourselves problems because of it. When we are tense or stressed, we will tighten our stomachs and chests, and we don’t get as much air as we could. Maybe that’s why parents and teachers tell children who are getting worked up to stop and take a breath. Don’t you do that sometimes? Things get a little crazy, and we step back and take a deep breath. Breathing in fully also makes me think of being outside in clean, fresh air. Refreshing, energizing, and pure. It’s amazing what a simple, yet effective thing it is. In Joy of the Gospel, Pope Francis compares prayer to taking a deep breath. In prayer, we breathe in. Sometimes fully, sometimes not. Just like breathing, sometimes we don’t realize how shallow it has become and focusing on it helps us to relax, open up, and fill ourselves again. It’s refreshing, energizing, and completely life giving. Take a breath.