How many times do we truly allow ourselves to be in silence? How many times do we spend time with God simply sitting in silence?
A couple of days ago I was overwhelmed and wasn’t finding the time to pray, but I also wasn’t in the right mindset to properly pray. I had a million things running through my mind and my brain was everywhere but in sitting down to pray. I told my husband and he said, “Why don’t you just go in silence? That’s still spending time with God.” I was left somewhat in shock not only because it was true, but also because of the simplicity of it. Sitting in silence with God. Of course I was aware that this is something we should all do, but in that moment it hit me like a brand new concept and realization.
It led me to think of how often do we truly sit in silence with God. I’ll admit that I’m not very good at this. When I pray I am always talking to Him. I rarely take a moment to stop and listen to Him. I’m having a one way conversation as I bombard God with all my words, but I’m not letting Him speak to me. I’m not stopping to listen to what He wants to tell me or what He wants me to do.
“Be still before the Lord, and wait patiently for him.”
— Psalm 37:7
Several years ago I heard a homily that always stuck with me. The priest gave the example of how if you only talked to your spouse once a week for one hour, or your parents if you’re not married, you wouldn’t have a very good relationship with them. You wouldn’t know what was happening in each other’s lives, you wouldn’t be able to express your feelings to one another and the list goes on. There’s not enough communication happening between the two so really no relationship can form. He compared this to then if we only speak to God once a week for an hour at Mass, the same thing will happen. We won’t be able to form a proper relationship with Him. A relationship takes daily communication between the two for it to blossom and be nurtured. A relationship also requires two-way communication. We must listen to one another. Therefore, it is in the silence where we hear the Lord speak to us. It is when we completely block out the worries of the world and allow our minds to be completely clear that we can then hear God speak to our hearts. It is in the silence where we can receive His clarity, inspiration, and guidance. It is in the silence when we allow ourselves to be in the presence of the Lord fully.
As hard as it may be to find silence at times, try to seek it. Even if your mind is rushing with things you need to do, take 10 minutes to sit in silence and be in the presence of the Lord. Allow your mind to be cleared of all your stresses and worries, and simply allow the peace of God to fill you. In prayer, make sure to give God time to talk back to you. Though it seems like habit at times to just feel the need to speak the whole time you pray, stop, be in silence, and listen.