Jun 11, 2019 495 0 Jackie Perry

Starving for Silence

We live in a hectic world, one that glorifies busyness. Hardly a moment goes by when we are not overcome with noise and stimulation of some sort. Cell phones, TVs, radios, movies, billboards, social media, video games, emails, busy work schedules, busy social lives, busy family lives and busy everything in between. noise has bombarded our lives to the extent that we cannot even sit in the church pew to prepare for mass in silence because people are always chatting.

We are overcome by noise in nearly every facet of our lives, yet our souls are starving for silence. We crave the encounter with Christ that silence affords us. If our hearts yearn for the silence, then why is it something that we avoid? I believe the answer is two-fold. We certainly avoid it because of our busyness, but I think we also avoid it because we are afraid. In fact, I once overheard a friend say she has to have noise in the background at all times—be it music or TV—because she cannot stand her own thoughts when it is quiet. She admittedly is afraid of the silence. I think most of us have gotten pretty good at keeping the silence at bay. Indeed, we have become a society of people rarely seeking it, to the point we have become afraid of it or, rather, afraid of what our interior tells us in the silence.

A non-Catholic friend of mine was traveling to Minnesota a few years ago and, out of curiosity, wandered into the Cathedral of Saint Paul. I happened to text her while she was there, unbeknownst to me. Her response was brief, but poignant: “I’m sitting in St. Paul Cathedral right now …Quiet sure makes you face your inside.Dang …”

It has been years since she sent me that text; her words still linger in my mind. It is so true. That is exactly why God calls us into the silence—to face our insides … with Him. We encounter our maker in the silence of our hearts and in turn must face our own reality.

It is not that God cannot or does not speak to us in other moments, but we are most attuned to hear Him in the silence of our own hearts. We need space to listen to God and really thrash out what our inner stirrings are trying to tell us.

The New Testament is laced with Scripture depicting that even Jesus Himself sought the silence. Time and again He went to the desert to pray:

When jesus heard of it, He withdrew in a boat to a deserted place by Himself. (Matthew 14:13)

Rising very early before dawn, He left and went off to a deserted place, where He prayed. (Mark 1:35)But when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door and pray to your Father in secret. (Matthew 6:6)

After doing so, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. When it was evening He was there alone. (Matthew 14:23)

… But He would withdraw to deserted places to pray. (Luke 5:16)

Yes, we are called into the silence; it is where we see our situation and ourselves more clearly, it is where we face our own insides, but most importantly it is where we encounter God.

Seek the silence.

Jackie Perry

is a wife and an inspiring writer. As a Catholic, Perry believes that one of the most important things you could ever choose in your life is to live radically, authentically and unapologetically as your truest self. You can learn more about her at laughsandlove.com


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