Thursday, December 17, 2009
The Solace of Silence
I am up in my room, and outside my windows the night is a gentle, velvet, midnight blue. There is peace on this night in December, and I begin to feel a calm, recollected quietness building within me. This is the time of Advent, where we wait and watch for the Lord. In order to do this we must be silent, so that we may not miss what He is saying to us, or what He is trying to show us. The frenzy of the world may continue 24 hours a day, but we must regularly retreat from it, in order to ponder important things.
Why do we fear this so? We have become so accustomed to living with the ever-present electronic din that to do without it invites discomfort and disorientation. To take the time to come away from it is to endure the strangeness of being with ourselves, and maybe listening to our heart speak to us of its anguish or its secret hopes, or face the truth of our lives as they are at present. In silence, then, we must listen, because if we will not face ourselves, we can never be whole.
And in silence, and in the still, small voice, God seeks to speak life and guidance to us. Jesus said to his disciples on that night in the garden, "Could you not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation."
The world is hurtling fast toward it destiny. We must not be lost in its convulsive busyness, lest we share in that destiny. Instead, let's deliberately soothe our frayed nerves and restless minds with silence and solitude on a regular basis.
In doing so, we become companions of Our Lady, who at this time perhaps gazed up to sky each evening, aware of the movement of that special, guiding star in the heavens, just as she felt the stirring of that holy life within her blessed womb. As she kept a recollected anticipation of the marvelous event that would soon occur, the birth of God's only Son, her own precious child, Jesus, we can only imagine how she used her time of silence to fully prepare her entire being for His coming.
As we feel the cold stillness of these December nights, may we come to a fuller knowledge of who this Holy child is, and of how much He loves us and delights to be with us. May we find solace in the silence, and realize that it is a gift to us, from Heaven itself.