Silence is golden
This upcoming weekend we have a silent retreat here at HNPRC. When I tell people how I love silent retreats, they often laugh, an uncomfortable laugh. It is foreign to our culture to be quiet.
Paul of the Cross says,” We learn the value and practice of inward and outward silence that gives depth to our lives. This silence fosters the inner peace and calm necessary for the spirit of prayer to grow.” (Our community at Prayer #37)
It is difficult for us to be open to quiet, for an extended time, because it rarely exists in our daily world. If it’s not our cell phones, it’s the TV or computer, we are hiding in our headphones. We are constantly inundated with sounds.
In C.S. Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters, the “senior demon” Screwtape reveals one very interesting plan of the devil.
In order to drive us away from God Satan chooses to distract us with “Noise.” He knows that if we are overrun by countless distractions that we will be unable to hear the voice of God in silence. (The Screwtape Letters, 119-120, emphasis added)
If you didn’t sign up for this retreat, do not worry. Turn off the TV, the stereo, the computer, take off your headphones, earbuds and ‘beats’. SHHHH! Just spend a few minutes and listen to the silence. Perhaps the Good Lord has something amazing to whisper into your life.