We live in a world of noise. It comes from outside, (radios, smart-phones, television, people talking), and it comes from inside, (our own inner conversation, anxieties, plans, fears, resistance, hopes). It never stops, making it hard to hear what our heart of hearts is telling us. Sometimes, we need to give ourselves the gift of silence—a space of calm and quiet where we can settle down into the goodness of God at our center.
Sometimes, even our prayers are like too much noise—filled with words and demands. However, God might be inviting us to slow down and listen or to just enjoy resting quietly in his loving presence. “Peaceful communion with God can do without words. "I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother." Like the satisfied child who has stopped crying and is in its mother’s arms, so can "my soul be with me" in the presence of God. A moment of silence, even very short, is like a holy stop, a sabbatical rest, a truce of worries.”
Daring to quieten ourselves and enter a time of silent prayer is an act of courage and faith. We trust that at the heart of our silent prayer is God. We have to let go of being in charge and rest, letting God do the work of grace within us. We come out from the shadows and into the light where we are no longer hiding anything from the One who only wants our greatest good and loves us more than we love ourselves.
Advent is the perfect time for this slowing down and quiet, however short these little rest-stops can be for you. One way you might give yourself the gift of rest and peace might be to join us every Sunday evening in Advent at 5:00PM for Taizé prayer, beginning on November 27. It will offer us a space for rest, peace, silence, song, and candlelight. It will last from 30-40 minutes. Invite your neighbors. Invite your family. Invite your friends. Invite your colleagues. Give them the gift of peace and light in a world of stress and darkness.