Thursday, December 02, 2010

My Advent Reflection - Stillness and Silence

It is only through our being still and listening intently that we will hear God speak to us.  He sometimes speaks in a whisper or very quietly to us.  We must therefore learn to listen for His gentle voice.

Not long ago I read an article in a National Geographic magazine about how darkness seems to have all but disappeared from the night sky.  It is through so much light pollution that a dark night is becoming a rarity.  We may not realize it but darkness is vital to the well being of the Earth's creatures.  Remember that it was on the very first day of creation, God separated the day from night.  He did not eliminate the darkness but only separated it from the light. 

This man-made darkness elimination is causing an adverse effect on the world's animals.  Just to give you one example, most of the birds who sleep during the night are now often disoriented by the light.  They become confused and fly to their deaths.  This will surely negatively impact their survival.

For human beings, it is easier to find stillness in the dark if we want to do so.  A quiet room lit only by a candle or a single light bulb can really help us spiritually to hear Our Lord speaking to us, as long as we do not permit too much lights and sounds to distract our attention.  Yet, more often than not, we allow our attention to be diverted from listening to God by the flashing lights and continuous loud noises coming from the television, computer, cell phone, MP3 players, and even talking to much.  How can we possibly expect to know what God wants from us when we cannot hear him?  Or how can we expect God to answer us if we are talking.  As Judge Judy likes to remind us "God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason."

If we are unwilling to give up the "night life" in order to find God, than we have to find Him at another time, if we are serious about developing a personal relationship with our Lord.

Did you ever notice that when your eyes open very early in the morning, you can find solutions to a problem or an answer to a question, lying in bed?  This is true for me.  I find it much easier to think during this short time because my mind is clear.  I also think this is true because there is silence and darkness surrounding me.  Just for a short time, there are no distractions.  God is there to help me with my problems or the answers I am seeking.  I listen to Him and He speaks to my heart.

Another place one can listen to God without distractions, is before the Blessed Sacrament found in every Catholic Church or chapel. 

... I have stilled my soul, hushed it like a weaned child. Like a weaned child on its mother's lap, so is my soul within me... Psalm 131:2

Jesus is truly present in the Blessed Sacrament in the Tabernacle before us!  We can go to Him because He will understand our needs, pains, sufferings like no one else can.  We in turn must listen to what He has to say to us.  He is there for us, if we can only quiet ourselves and listen.  We may not be able to control the noise around us, but we can focus on Him and not let distractions such as talking or cell phones ringing, make us lose our peace within us.

There is still time this Advent to find Our Lord in silence.


Mary N. said...

Beautiful reflection!

EC Gefroh said...

You are very kind. Thank you Mary.