“We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature — trees, flowers, grass — grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence. We need silence to be able to touch souls.” ~ St. Teresa of Calcutta
Silence. Just the very word can send shivers up and down people’s spines. What do we say when someone we care about is not talking to us? “We’re getting the ‘silent treatment’.” How do they torture prisoners and get them ready for brainwashing? Put them in isolation where they cannot hear another person. When does our mind run the most rampant? When it is totally quiet.
Yet, there are others who say, “Silence is golden”. They claim to be able to think better when it is silent. They have better chances of solving problems. They say that it is easier to pray. In short, silence, for some, is a friend. For others, silence can be an enemy.
Mother Teresa would say most definitely that silence was a friend. Not only a friend, she would claim that silence is necessary in order for God to speak to the inner recesses of our hearts. If we are immersed in a noisy environment, it is impossible to concentrate. That is something that has been spoken about with more and more insistence the past several years in terms of distracted driving. Parents are being told to caution their teens who are driving for the first time not to blare the radio as well as not to talk on the cell phone because all the noise distracts the driver from watching the road as well as listening for warning signs.
I often watch, with great unease, people who walk down the sidewalks or bike on the roads and who have earbuds in place, blaring their music. They are so busy listening to music that they have no chance to hear a car horn that may warn them that they are in danger.
So it is for us in our prayer lives. We might be able to have some semblance of prayer in a noisy environment; however, it might be impossible to immerse ourselves totally in prayer with many noisy distractions in place. That is why Mother Teresa, and many mystics, encouraged her sisters to draw away from the world and immerse themselves in quiet adoration in front of the Blessed Sacrament.
It was in that silence that Mother Teresa found God was most able to speak to her. She had removed the other distractions from her life and gave her time completely to God during her daily adoration. It can be so for us as well. When we carve out time to spend with God in silence, He has a much better chance of being heard. Let Him speak to you today.
FAITH ACTION: Make some time today to sit in silence and ask the Lord to speak to your heart.