Sunday, April 25, 2010

For the Joys of Prayerful Silence

Guest Post by Warren Jewell
The general quiet and often hushed silence of my solitude is a remedy, consolation, comfort, and luxury, like an unspoken call to prayer a hundred times a day. My effective muezzin is my own heartbeat, you see. I have forsworn TV all my adult life; I own no radio; I long ago gave away my sound equipment. Life can sound so much like the crash and the fury and the cry. And, when my littlest grandchild has Mommy call Grandpa to 'talk,' her gentle gurgles and attempts to convey her blossoming feelings can mean something to one more and more acculturated to hear God in every little natural sound. As yet, no words: just an angel's innocence.

If I sometimes suffer in loneliness, and I do, in the course of my daily rounds I more often thank God for the silence that speaks of that loneliness in softest terms; and I can hear God come closer to my side. "Silence, son, and know that I am your God, and your Best-Beloved." I live in a carpeted chapel within an out-of-the-way cloister.

In our noisy modern times, we just don’t get enough hush, or quiet, and even less, silence. I have found my secret place, time, life era, etc., to have those nearly from God’s own hand. In just my writing about it, you may hear the blessing of it.

I don’t urge such conditions on another. A big aspect of it, and heart of the loneliness present, is something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy: widowhood from my best friend, my late wife, Sharon. However, all things work to the good of those who take to trusting God about it all, and He is goodness and love personified, and who needs much else? In the silence one can find that God, so full of Good News, just can’t hold His tongue for ten minutes in a row. The soft speech He gifts me with can make me wish the silence, on human and earthly parts, would go on forever.

We all need such times so that God’s messages can come through. At Mass, the Church helps by affixing the messages common for the day, and that is wonderful. But God has personal messages for each of us, and we must find the silence to give our ears, and souls, spirits, wills, minds and hearts, to Him. So find your own little chapel. Make some time and place your cloister. Closing your eyes and having the simple white noise of an electric fan might help. However, do get yourself so alone in silence that God can’t resist getting so close He whispers sweet everythings to you.

Oh, it won’t happen every time. But to have it even once from out of a myriad of silences lets you know that your Redeemer lives, and He lives that He can love and bless you, He can comfort and console you, He can give you Himself in His own intimate way just for you.

It really isn’t such a privilege to you or to me. Remember, you are His child. It is He Who makes the event special, and He Who privileges Himself to have you so intimately open to Him.

I suppose that I could go on and on about this, for much of God’s gifts of peace, joy, assurance, guidance and other wonderful things come out of prayerful silence for me. Even of paradox the ascending descent into humility grows within me. To finish, may God find His glory shine in silent love with you.

Be so kind, O Lord, to frequently remind me that I am always in Your Holy Presence, and You are in my humble presence.  In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.