One of my favorite books is A Place Called Simplicity: The Quiet Beauty of Simple Living by Claire Cloninger. This book started me on a quest to simplify my life. At the time, I had escaped my abusive marriage and felt like my life was a merry-go-around that I could not get off of. I was overly busy with school, single parenting, volunteer work, and part time jobs.
In the book Claire says: “Simplicity is not a state of mind. It is not a method of housekeeping or bookkeeping or appointment keeping. It is not philosophy or a theology or an ancient art form or a new ecological movement. Simplicity is a person, and his name is Jesus.” (p 170) To me this says that only through quiet, deep prayer time can I remove the noisy layers of the world and find the true center of my being. I began searching out silence.
Communicating with God
First Corinthians 3:16 states: “Do you not know that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” This scripture says to me that communication with God is what we were created for. Deep, constant prayer is the way to connecting with God — to finding our center.
Mother Teresa has a quote on silence: “The fruit of silence is prayer, the fruit of prayer is faith, the fruit of faith is love, and the fruit of love is silence.” To me, silence leads me into prayer, faith, and love and when I grow in prayer, faith, and love I grow in my desire for silence and communicate at a deeper level with God.
Silence is Powerful
Another favorite author of mine is Richard Foster, who says in his book Freedom of Simplicity: Finding Harmony in a Complex World: “Simplicity and solitude walk hand in hand. (p 15) Silence frees us from the need to control others…Silence is one of the deepest disciplines of the Spirit. (p 72) Life from the Center is a life of unhurried peace and power. It is simple. It is serene. It is amazing. It is triumphant. It is radiant. It takes no time, but it occupies all our time. And it makes our life programs new and overflowing. (p 109)
Silence can be powerful. I have had some of my deepest, mountain top experience at silent retreats. It is my favorite type of retreat, the longer the better. Maintaining complete silence, not having to make small or polite conversation, frees me to just listen to God. To go where He leads me. To embrace His love. To rest in Him totally. The pandemic has closed my favorite retreat centers and my world at home is so noisy. I long for the silence.
Silence is a Journey
Saint Bonaventure explains the journey of the soul into silence this way: “We have to turn off our minds and open our hearts to the love of God to be able to enter fully into a deep relationship with Him. To make our heart’s warm with His love. Our Soul’s journey can lead us deeper into the Divine Indwelling where the Divine energy is present as the source of our being and inspiration at every moment.” Paraphrased from Journey into God: Itinerarium Mentis in Deum.
While you are experiencing periods of silence, try to turn off your mind and open your hearts. Let the Divine energy fill you and follow the nudging for the Holy Spirit on when to end the silence. Silence is the first language of God. Silence helps us to fine tune our spirit to hear God’s still small voice.
Now here is a beautiful mediation written by Edwina Gately. Journey into the power of silence with her words.
Let Your God Love You
Before your God.
Let your God look upon you.
That is all.
God loves you
With an enormous love,
And only wants
To look upon you
With that love.
Let your God—
Posted on Journey with Jesus. https://www.journeywithjesus.net/PoemsAndPrayers/Edwina_Gateley.shtml