Tuesday, December 13, 2011

In Search of Silence

Noise...it is everywhere. Find a refuge where I can sit in silence and encounter my dear Sweet Jesus and I shall never part from it. It comes to me early in the morning as my wife and children are still in bed and I sit in silence saying my morning prayers that the need for silence is one of the greatest in the spiritual life. It has been on silent retreats to country churches that my wife and I have been able to discern some of the most momentous changes in our lives. In the silence of those boxy churches we have often discerned realities and desires of our Lord contrary to what we had previously thought. I suppose this is why when I visit Clear Creek Abbey I don't want to leave, and I pine to return to the rhythm of a life centered on prayer, work, and silence. Yet, such is not my lot in life. I happily rise early before the sun to steal from the remaining night hours a bit of that silence where I may see my Lord and hear His voice in the depths of my heart. It is the country life too that assist me in living with Christ day by day. It is here, hour after hour planting tomatoes or beans or anything else that I can walk towards Emmaus and the greater revelation of our Lord "in the breaking of the bread." I suppose this way of life naturally leads one to a desire for the Extraordinary Form. When one spends day after day in the silence of created splendor, he desires no the noise of the modern mass. To sit in silence and encounter our Lord is the foretaste of Heaven, and to receive Him body, blood, soul, and divinity is the desire of our hearts. Fr. Chad Ripperger FSSP says the following about silence:

"We have already mentioned the silence that is necessary to ascend the heights of prayer. While it is not required for vocal prayer, it is required for mental prayer and the other seven levels of prayer. St. Augustine said that no person can save his soul if he does not pray. Now it is a fact that mental prayer and prayer in general have collapsed among the laity (and the clergy, for that matter) in the past thirty years. It is my own impression that this development actually has to do with the ritual of the Mass. Now in the new rite, everything centers around vocal prayer, and the communal aspects of the prayer are heavily emphasized. This has led people to believe that only those forms of prayer that are vocal and communal have any real value." 

I desire the silence where I can adore our Lord with the hosts of Angels and Saints. This world and its passing shadows left behind me at the threshold of the Church, I go forward in silence to behold Him in His Holy Tabernacle. A rural life is a silent life. It leads to greater meditation and contemplation of the higher things. It predisposes us to desire the greatest union with God possible. I desire silence that I might know Him who can be best known in silence.

Pax Christ,


angelicdoctor said...

Great stuff. I was just meditating on this tonight while reading 'Divine Intimacy'.

Selena Joan McPhail said...

Love the silence. It is in that silence that Jesus speaks to my soul. We can't hear Our Lord speaking, if we are always trying to drown Him out with everyday activity, such as internet, T.V., radio. and the like. So cherish silence every moment you can get. Jesus wants to speak to us, because He loves us.