The Sound of Silence (from God)
We frequently hear that silence is the language of God. This silence we speak of, of course, is often related to contemplative prayer, the silent variety in particular. Scripture tells us of the importance of this, and even the times when Jesus went into the desert to fast and pray. We can only assume this was also in silence.
Can you imagine just wandering off into the desert, leaving the broken vegetation and walking through the untended natural garden which it creates? There is something beautiful about us leaving our everyday worries and cares and heading out towards some sublime time with God. When this happens with deliberation, such as the time we spend on a retreat, we can enter into the relationship with all the creature comforts, hoping for a connection, some reassurance that God has not left or abandoned me.
Or course, our needy spirit is talking here. Or rather, our needy ego. Here we go again, demanding God’s presence, or some evidence that God loves me. Rather like the inner child who still speaks to us.
Today, I received a telephone call on “Whatsapp” it was a random call from my 3-year-old granddaughter in Singapore who just decided (over breakfast there) that she needed to speak to her “papa.” Phone at the ready, mom obliged, and I was able to take the call and watch her eat breakfast, show me her 3-day old birthday cake and get the “fix” she needed to reassure her I was well and hadn’t forgotten about her.
I certainly can relate this episode to my relationship with God. For sure, I want to hear from Him, telling me I am on the right track, some indication that He is present and ideally, a sign that He loves me.
Maybe the desire herein is really just the Holy Longing, which so many of our spiritual leaders over the years have spoken. The hunger and desire to belong to Him and Him to us. Perhaps that hunger, the presence of the desire for reassurance, should be enough.
However, the reality is when God is silent, then the chances are, things are well from a spiritual perspective. For when he is silent, He is with us.
He is with us always. Let us remember this “silent presence” which dwells deep within us this week; as we take a mental walk in the desert, just to be with Him in the silence.
The Entrance to the Desert
© 2020 Reflection and Photograph by Michael J. Cunningham OFS