19 Apr How Important is Silence for our Souls?
There is so much to be said about the wealth of silence; the perfect plane on which we can attain a state of communion and intimacy with God our Father.
Aren’t we all predisposed to the vagaries of our wagging tongues? Countless souls have lost salvation due to the deceptions of their dubious tongue.
Now, it is here that one must understand the importance of silence and make an honest effort to implement it in our lives.
Many a Prophet and Poet of olden times and in contemporary ages have sung the virtues and rectitude of silence. Silence enabled them to connect with the Divine presence of God, and bring forth revelations aplenty from heavens above.
As a spiritual discipline, why is silence of utmost importance?
If we are able to remain silent and unperturbed when provoked, humiliated and persecuted, you can shoulder an entire army to victory, all by yourself!
Sadly, we live in a world where silence is bewildering and daunting to our inner well being… Where it should relax our minds, it rattles and dispirits our soul.
The world today might consider solitude and silence as unattainable merits, open only to a ‘privileged few’ who live in the realm of spiritual grandeur. We believe that silence is accessible only to those auspicious souls, constantly in touch with the eternal and continual presence of God.
Being the elemental principle of Spirituality and greatness, one must assess, “Do we consciously practice silence?”
We are constantly troubled by the varied noises in our backdrop that transport our mind into a frenzy of turmoil and overwhelming thoughts. Thoughts lead to reactions; reactions create frustration and discord; discord drives you to misdeeds, and there you land! Deep into the lap of extreme transgression!
Sin is the absolute reaction of atrocity and noise in our lives.
Silence has garnered great importance in recent times, where every single word we utter leads us to the tantalizing path of sin, and renounces us from the spiritual trail.
Did you know that when we are silent, we are also receptive towards the immortal voice of the Holy Spirit? Silent prayers in solitude lead us to deep instinctive answers in our quest for understanding life’s problems.
Solitude and Communion with God in the Old Testament
In the Old Testament, The Lord speaks to prophets and people of important bearing, in moments of perfect solitude and worldly detachment.
The Lord Almighty appears to Abraham , Isaac, Jacob, Moses and Elijah in solitude and in desolate places. The ‘God –Experience’ of these holy men are evident in their ability to go into deep layers of silence, and subsequently, into a ‘meditative mode’ to receive divine intervention.
Psalm 46:10 tells us “Be still and know that I am God.”
Jesus’ Relentless Passion for Silence
The Bible also reveals to us the truth that the Son of God himself used to retreat consistently into deep solitude and abodes of silence, to pray and connect with his Heavenly Father.
Luke 5:16 says, “He often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.”
In Mark 6:31- Jesus tells his disciples, “Come with me privately to a solitary place, and let us rest for a while.” We see Jesus thronged by multitudes at all times, preventing him to have a peaceful and fruitful communion with God.
Jesus’ final prayer in the garden of Gethsemane too is a passionate prayer in silence and solitude.
Mathew 26:36 says-Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane. He told the disciples, “Sit down here while I go over there and pray.”
How do we delve deep into the realm of absolute Silence?
Silence and solitude, though not interconnected, are definitely closely related. One can be engulfed by a massive crowd and yet be in perfect solitude. The more silent the environment, the deeper the depth of solitude.
How on earth are we to attain this?
Should we succeed in attaining this perfect state, how are we to retain it?
For attaining silence and solitude, one has to disconnect from the external world and the commotion surrounding it, and dive deep into one’s inner conscience. The turbulence, explosion and fracas surrounding one will slowly melt away as one gains entry into the deeper layers of silence. One encounters perfect solitude thus!
Simple and effective ways to practice inner silence are:
- Early morning meditation and prayer. –When the world is quiet and in deep slumber, your mind awakens to the depths of inner silence.
- Read the word of God, ‘The Bible’ persistently and with conviction.
- Meditate on the soothing face of our Lord Jesus, and have long silent conversations with him.
Attaining silence and solitude are by no means easy. It needs perfect dedication and patience. But once you attain this perfect and soothing state, silence and solitude gains mastery over your soul. It is in this ecstatic space that you encounter God’s divine presence and unite with the Holy Spirit.
We must all strive to tune in to this meditative state of silence in order to attain the gift of the Holy Spirit, and to be guided and directed in the right path throughout our lives.
Job 13:5-“O that you would be completely silent, and that it would become your wisdom!
Inspiration for the article
“Silence is a sword in the spiritual struggle; a talkative soul will never attain sanctity. A silent soul is strong; no adversities will harm it if it perseveres in silence. The silent soul is capable of attaining the closest union with God. It lives almost always under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit; God works in a silent soul without hindrance.”
(Diary of Saint Maria Faustina – No. 477)