Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Enjoy the Silence

"The greatest saints avoided the company of men as much as they could and chose to live to God in secret."*

I just found my other earplug on the floor under my desk. It's been driving me nuts all day today that one of my earplugs vanished, and between my coworkers and Leo Sayer's "You Make Me Feel Like Dancin'" blaring from the radio (disco on the oldies station--I can't believe it's come to this), the thoughts in my head don't have a chance unless I can block out the noise. Earplugs mean silence, and with silence I suddenly have solitude, even if its for just for a few brief minutes to collect my thoughts.

It's in solitude, which I don't often find, that I am not only able to compose my own thoughts, but it's when I'm most able to hear and understand God. If I'm so destracted that I can't hear myself think just to write a marketing letter or a blog post, what makes me think I'll hear God or know His will? A lack of time for silent reflection has been missing from my spiritual development for quite some time. Sure, I steal moments when I can, but that's not the same thing. I'll bet I'm not the only one. It's why so many of us go on retreats and pilgrimages, or visit monasteries and shrines. We need to escape the world and all its trappings, and many of us need to do it more often than we are able.

I decided that, since I live close to work, I would make it a habit to go home for lunch pray a Rosary. Today it was rainy and cold, but my gardens are quiet and peaceful, and as the perfect backdrop for today's moment of solitude, served me as a living example of the resurrection. Of course Jesus rose from the dead, I thought; His earthly creation is rising from the dead right now. If my mind were competing with the television, a radio, a person standing there talking at me, or even the mail sitting on the kitchen table, I would not have experienced that tiny little revelation that brought me closer to the mind of God and His will for me.

"In silence and quiet," Kempis teaches us, "the devout soul goes forward."*

* Thomas a Kempis, Imitation of Christ, Book 1 Chapter 20

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