SUNDAY TRAVELER: Silence and Advent Peace
Silence. Something that, as Chicagoans, we probably aren’t used to. How many of us have headphones in while we walk to class, ride the el, or even just sit in a coffee shop? I love the city, but sometimes it’s almost impossible to find time and places to just have quiet.
As a Catholic, I grew up with a misunderstanding that silence wasn’t an essential part of prayer. If you’ve ever been to a Catholic Mass, have you noticed how little silence there actually is? Believe me, I’m not hating on the Church or Mass, I’m just stating that, as humans, we are uncomfortable with silence.
But that’s the thing about silence. The discomfort of quiet takes us off guard. But, if we let ourselves be okay with just sitting, we can tap into the an awesome, meditative, and surprisingly relaxing power.
Mother Teresa once wrote: “[We] need silence. To be alone or together looking for God in silence. There it is that we accumulate the inward power which we distribute in action, put in the smallest duty and spend in the severest hardships…Silence came before creation, and the heavens were spread without a word.”
Silence brings us a sense of awareness and calm that is essential not only to prayer, but it helps us recognize the need to be present in a singular moment. Silence can unlock not only a deep self-awareness, but it can lead us to a profound prayer experience. It is in the silence that God speaks to us.
There’s a story in the Bible that says Moses went up on a mountain to look for God. But God wasn’t in the rushing wind, the fire, or the storm. He was in the silence, speaking as a calm whisper. Clearly, God isn’t only this all powerful old guy chilling in the clouds with an epic beard, smiting the sinners left and right.
Instead, try seeing him like you maybe see your dad or grandpa from when you were little. Someone calm and comforting whose lap you can climb into and just feel secure. That’s the God that seeks us in the silence. And honestly, who doesn’t want THAT?
So in the midst of finals and end of the semester madness, take time to be silent. Sit by the lake, take a walk by yourself, or go to a playground and swing. Do whatever you need to find that calm, quiet voice after the fires, storms and rain. Instead of always seeking out God, simply sit, and let God seek you.
Merry Christmas, happy holidays, and may peace be in your hearts.
Catch all the “Sunday Traveler” bloggers from the religion and spirituality blog every Sunday. Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Happy Holidays, and a happy winter break, from all of us here at the LUChameleon!