The last few days I’ve been waking up early. I slide out of bed, quietly close the bedroom door and make my way to my office, grabbing my quilt off the couch. I close the office door, turn on the light next to my chair and sit, wrapping my quilt around my legs. I rest in silence. Waiting. No rush, no one needs me, it’s me and God. I sit with him and breathe. That’s how I start. And then I move to scripture, reading the Mass readings and some reflections. And then there is more quiet.
Kinds of Silence
Morning silence is different than nighttime silence. Morning silence is full of potential, undiscovered possibilities and seemingly all the time to do all the things on my list. It is hopeful. At night, if I can’t sleep or just want to stay up late, the silence seems to need to be filled with some activity, no matter how small. When I sit in the same chair with my quilt I don’t sense the possibilities of tomorrow but rather the unfinished business of the day. It isn’t restful. Why is that?
We need silence
I like silence. Not all the time though. When I work, I often have music on and I love to listen to podcasts when I drive or cook. In the silence, though my brain can sift through my thoughts, new ideas surface, plans are made and adjusted. I get some space. Matthew Kelly calls it the “classroom of silence, ” Fr. Timothy Gallagher suggests we all need to spend time “within” without distractions. Many of the great saints were called by God to be silent before they began the work God called them to.
Want to try silence?
Each day this week, spend 10 minutes a day in silence. Don’t try to think or pray. Simply sit and be, with your eyes closed, doing nothing else. If thoughts come to mind, let them float away, as if on a cloud. Once you are comfortable with 10 minutes, begin to pray, putting yourself in God’s presence. If you want to pray, pray prayers of gratitude and thanksgiving. And then let God speak to you. From there, move to your usual prayers. Silence is powerful, use it daily as you walk on your faith journey.