Thursday, August 11, 2011
A Conversation In The Silence
During his Wednesday audience this week, the Holy Father spoke about the importance of silence in our spiritual lives. He explained how monasteries are oases conducive to silence, prayer and meditation. This being the case, many religious communities build their monasteries in wooded and pastoral settings. The Holy Father also went on to say that God speaks to us in the silence, but we need to know how to listen to Him.
Pope Benedict XVI's remarks on this topic are ones I can truly relate to because I crave silence in my life. This craving is part of the reason I make a silent retreat once a year. It is in those six days of silence that I hear God the loudest. While I would love to live that retreat life 365 days a year, I know that is not possible, but I still need silence in my daily life. I find it sitting in church before the tabernacle or in my parish's Adoration Chapel. Since I live alone, I can also find it at home, but that means resisting the temptation to fill the silence with TV or stereo.
Our prayer life is a conversation with God; it is a dialogue, but it is the one conversation that takes place in the silence.
If we are to hear what God wants to say to us, we must learn to be still, patient, and allow Him to be God, or as a spiritual director once told me, "Be aware, alert, and attentive." We may not hear Him immediately, but if we are persistent in our silent prayer, we will hear him.
So be still and know that He is God and enjoy the conversation in the silence.
All this talk of silence made me think of the hymn, You Are Mine so allow me to break your silence for five minutes with this beautiful version of that hymn.
*Text of Pope Benedict's Wednesday Audience
Psalm 45: Canticle of Love to the King
My heart overflows with a good theme;
I address my verses to the King;
My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
You are fairer than the sons of men;
Grace is poured upon Your lips;
Therefore God has blessed You forever.
Gird Your sword on Your thigh, O Mighty One,
In Your splendor and Your majesty!
And in Your majesty ride on victoriously,
For the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness;
Let Your right hand teach You awesome things.
Your arrows are sharp;
The peoples fall under You;
Your arrows are in the heart of the King’s enemies.
Your throne, O God, is forever and ever;
A scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Your kingdom.
You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
With the oil of joy above Your fellows.
All Your garments are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia;
Out of ivory palaces stringed instruments have made You glad.
Kings’ daughters are among Your noble ladies;
At Your right hand stands the queen in gold from Ophir.