Well, it has been a long time since my last post – almost a month… Hard to believe.
Much has happened on our end of things. We’ve finally made it across the pond the somewhat sunny ole England. We are enjoying finally being here. It has been a long time coming.
Also, this past Saturday I was ordained at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. Quite the experince. Photos soon to follow. Before the ordination we spent a few days on retreat. Part of the retreat was to maintain silence and ‘greater’ silence. I’ll explain.
After the first day, we were invited to maintain silence, which meant we could only talk during mealtimes. Then from Thurs. after Compline until Sat. morning @ 11 we were asked to maintain ‘greater’ silence, which meant total silence, even during meals.
What struck me during this time is who was able to maintain silence versus who was not. Interestingly it broke down into the differences between churchmanship. (I’ll let you decide who was whom) But this got me to thinking. Why are we so uncomfortable with silence? What is it about silence that makes us (me) want to fill it?
Part of it I believe is the fact that we are taught from a very early age that being silent/still is not something that we should do, except in certain situations. Even then our silence/stillness is not to sink into the presence of God, but because something external is requiring it of us. Also, the silence/stillness is perceived to be idle. And one of the ‘deadly’ sins of our time is idleness or lack of production. For when you are silent/still you are not ‘producing’ anything. You are not ‘contributing’ anything.
The other issue with silence/stillness is that we are forcing ourselves into being attentive to God. If we are attentive, we then must listen. And if we listen, we then might hear something that we don’t want to hear or be asked to do something we don’t want to do. In the end it just becomes easier to not listen in the first place.
These are just a few thoughts on our need for silence/stillness.
With all the discussion about making mature disciples of Jesus, as I look around I’m not sure we’re doing such a good job. Maybe returning to the ancient practices, such as silence/stillness, is the answer we are seeking.
Grace and Peace…
Glory to ….