Are your ears tuned-in to the voices and noises of the world or. are you hungry for God, trying hard to hear His voice? Do you wish with all your heart to know and to do His will and encounter His awesome love in a much deeper way?
A few days ago a friend of mine who has recently built a ‘Poustinia’ ( www.hermitary.com/…/doherty.html , Catherine De Hueck Doherty:Poustinia ) in her back yard, was sharing with me all the blessings that this time of solitude and silence’ in her Poustinia gave her.
After our short, but most interesting conversation I determined to research and study the topic of ‘solitude and silence’ as lived by the Saints. Inwardly, within my spirit I knew I was about to discover an awesome spiritual treasure!
In my journey with God, and having become a ‘senior’ (65+) a few years ago, I take my relationship with God much more seriously.
As my wonderful mother said to me nine years ago: “Time is precious. It gives us time to love. Time to have God’s preciousness.”
Thus, I am at the point in my life where I want to seriously fine-tune my ability to ‘hear His voice’ within me and protect my soul from all of the ‘worldly’ noises and it’s evil influences and temptations.
My soul must be focused on God through a life of ‘solitude and silence’. His Word in Psalm 62:5 speaks deeply to me:
“For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from Him.”
Solitude and it’s silence brings so many blessings into our spiritual lives. Here I will mention seven blessings:
- By silence, we see the reality of ourselves as in a mirror. We see our failures and our mistakes. St. Isaac said: “if one stops talking too much with people, he goes back to himself and straightens his behaviour before God.
- Silence is the chance to free the soul in its worship and it’s relation with God. Silence leads the mind to focus after being disturbed by too much talk.
- Silence leads to humility. St. Isaac said:”The difference between the wisdom of the spirit and the wisdom of the mind is that the former leads you to silence; and the latter pushes you to impudence and arguments. Wise silence leads you to humility, but arguments and stubbornness lead you to arrogance and pride.
- Silence shows the ability of man to control the movements of his body and his desires; and it is a strong bridle to the whole body according to St. James (James 3:3-5)
- Silence leads us to avoid a lot of the sins of the tongue and sinful inner emotions.
- Silence provides a chance to think quietly, resulting in mature thoughts and right decisions.
- The spiritual life as a whole flourishes and grows in silence. St. Nomen said:”He who controls his mouth, his thoughts die. It is like a jar containing serpents and scorpions; when it’s opening is closed, they die.”
( Keeping silent and speaking out in the life of Mary: www.wiscopts.net/index.php?option=com_con )
In light of our relationship with God how is ‘Silence & Solitude’ best explained? The Cartusian spirituality in their statutes give a very good explanation:
“Silence is a kind of listening: not a feverish waiting for some word that would come and knock on our ear or fill our heart, but a peaceful waiting, in a state of availability for the One who is present and who works in our inmost selves.
This is why it is said that our solitude is HOLY GROUND (emphasis mine) , a place where, as a man with his friend, The Lord and His servant often speak together; there is the faithful soul frequently united with the Word of God; there is the bride made one with her Spouse; there is earth joined to Heaven, the Divine to the human.” (Statutes 4.1)
If you wish to be on this ‘Holy Ground’, enter into ‘silence’. Entering into this solitude and silence brings you unto ‘Holy Ground’, as we can see it so well explained by ‘statute 3.2’:
“Entering into silence means walking to God in His abode-a wonderful ideal for sure, but also a fearsome one, given the TRANSFORMATIONS (emphasis mine) that must be carried out by it in us.
However we cannot but long for this ideal, since we know that ‘In this way, having been cleansed in the night of patience and having been consoled and sustained by assiduous meditation of the Scriptures, and having been led by the Holy Spirit into the DEPTHS of our own soul, we are now ready, not only to serve God, but even to cleave to Him in LOVE.”
( www.transfiguration.chartreux.org/silence in the statutes )
The place “Par excellence” for being in the ‘presence’ of The Lord in ‘solitude and silence’ is during Adoration of Jesus in the ‘Most Blessed Sacrament’.
The spiritual benefits are awesome and precious. (Cf: www.stmarknc.org…holy_hour.pdf )
When you go before the Presence of Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament during a Silent time of Adoration, like Mary, ponder what has been shared here about the immense treasures of ‘Silence and Solitude’ and ask Mother Mary to grant you the ‘Grace’ to make ‘Silence and Solitude’ the focus, the priority of your life, and you will ultimately gain God’s preciousness, you will eventually become a Saint, overflowing with God’s LOVE.
Donald Andre Bruneau,
January 10, 2014.