“Be still, and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10
We live in a noisy world. Television, cell phones, music…. No one wants to be without some form of electronic device that can entertain them and fill their heads with color, pictures and sound. What are we afraid of? To be caught in a moment of silence? Even I bring my ipod nano with me when I ride the bike trail. I enjoy the beautiful nature with a soundtrack of my choosing, which does happen to be Christian rock. Yet, I could be just enjoying the moment of the wind in my ears. The birds singing, the leaves clapping in the trees. I also blast Christian rock while driving in the car. LOUD. Banging my head to the new Red Cd. Hey like I said, it’s Christian rock. I am praising the Lord. …But I could be quiet. I could be praying. I could be still and spend a quiet moment with God.
We are missing moments of peace. Quiet times to just be with the Lord in the silence.
There are moments when reading something, watching something or being somewhere brings me great peace. Last night I watched only half of the documentary “Into Great Silence” and I felt that quiet joyful peace flood through me.
What an amazingly beautiful movie about the everyday lives of Carthusian monks of the Grande Chartreuse, high in the French Alps. These holy men live their lives simply in silence, work and prayer. The documentary was beautifully shot by director Philip Gröning. Whether he caught the corner or a room, a plate dripping in the sink or a tree covered in snow there was a great awe and magnificence about the place. I can see why the documentary is considered a work of art and won several awards.
I know in our fast paced “entertain me!” world many people would find the film dull and boring. As the movie slowly began I almost turned it off and looked for something more “entertaining.” But I am glad I didn’t. I found great peace watching the monks enjoy their peaceful quiet lives. At one point it came upon me (a still small voice, whisper) that it would be an amazing experience to pray the rosary while watching the movie since there was hardly any sound (though they did sing/chant). Wow. Yes. Peace. A Holy Spirit moment as I sat and watched and prayed. Joy.
While watching …idea of loving and serving God, the meaning of life, came upon me. These men lived their lives for God. In beautiful enveloping silence. This was true service. And though I know many think they are “wasting” their lives when they could be “doing something to help others” (as someone said to me once when I told them about the amazing Primitive Franciscans)… I do believe they have the most important and best job in the world. Praising God in the silence of a monastery (or convent) and praying for us all. Lord knows, we noisy creatures, need it!
So ssshhhhh… sit in silence. Sit with God. Listen. He is always speaking to you.
“In the silence of the heart God speaks. If you face God in prayer and silence, God will speak to you. Then you will know that you are nothing. It is only when you realize your nothingness, your emptiness, that God can fill you with Himself. Souls of prayer are souls of great silence.” Blessed Mother Teresa
“We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature – trees, flowers, grass- grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence… We need silence to be able to touch souls.” Blessed Mother Teresa
“What we need most in order to make progress is to be silent before this great God with our appetite and with our tongue, for the language he best hears is silent love.”
–St John of the Cross, OCD
“In silence and quiet the devout soul advances in virtue and learns the hidden truths of Scripture.”
—Imitation of Christ Thomas a Kempis
“It is best to learn to silence the faculties and to cause them to be still, so that God may speak.”
–St John of the Cross
Here is a poem I wrote after watching the movie….
water, time, love
pregnant with joyful