“Silence is that place just before the voice of God. It is the void in which God and I meet in the center of my soul.” (Illuminated life: Monastic Wisdom for Seekers of Light, Joan Chittister, OSB)
Silence is critical to discernment, and during all times that we hope to hear God speak. For my part, I have to work to quiet the noise, bury the distractions, open my heart and stretch my listening to really hear.
The God I experience is the Grace of my life.
Often silence is seen as eerie or uncomfortable or produces impatience. For many of us it is our ‘shadow’ side, as we are not raised to welcome silence – nor does the world embrace silence. I – and maybe you too – have had to nourish a hunger for silence. Once found, however, it is precious.
Silence is partly a matter of appreciating life’s clamor while being able to set it aside for a greater sound. I have always found inspiration in music, books and nature. However, inspiration comes through quiet, silence and a deafening depth where God speaks most clearly.
Whatever path you are on – most especially if you are grappling with a religious vocation – requires enough quiet and silence to let God break through your noise, distractions and self-centeredness. God is profoundly with us in all aspects of life, yet silence allows that unique communication with God that leads us to find some clarity of God’s love and Grace. That quiet allows our God to surface and rise inside.
In your discernment, allow for quiet and silence and see where it leads you. Treasure the quiet, silent times when the voice of God comes through your heart. It might take time to get used to it, so be patient. God is working through you to emerge stronger and more present in your life.