Appreciating the silence of life

Fred Cavaiani

Most of us have many silent moments each day. Often, we don’t realize this because we are thinking of what  we should be doing next.   I, often in the past, wondered what the benefit it is for people who become Trappist monks and spend most of their life in silence and prayer. I think that the real truth is that people who enter into a life like this, Trappist monks and cloistered nuns, have discovered the joy and wisdom of prayer and silence. They experience in a positive manner the peace and joy of experiencing God in the present moment because this is what they do each day and their whole day is arranged to deepen this experience.

But the truth is, for everyone, that we walk through life with so many silent moments every day. We forget that we spend more time in silence  than we do in speaking. We get in the car to go somewhere and that becomes a silent time. We get out of bed in the morning to shower, put on our clothes, eat breakfast and all of this is silent time. We go to bed at night and sleep for a number of hours each night and this is silent time. We might exercise, go to the health club, go running, take a walk. This is silent time.  We might sit at night for hours watching television. We  forget that much of this is distracting ourself from silent time. As I type this article here in my office at home, I realize the reward of doing this in this precious silent time. In the silent moments an experience of God is surrounding us and the wisdom and love of God is embracing us. But it becomes so easy to minimize this quiet time and even run away from it.

It is in the quiet that we are nudged to experience God and think about God.  And this is happening all throughout the day. In silence we begin to look for something deeper. And this desire for something deeper leads us into a desire for God. I send out a daily reflection every day to many people after I have spent a lot of quiet time meditating. It helps me feel more anchored in God and as I text this to so many people, my quiet time deepens.

Silence is actually a big part of every person’s day but we don’t consciously realize this.  Once we do realize this and embrace this, we go so much deeper into life and we begin to hunger for God and search for God.   It is so important that we embrace all the quiet time  that comes our way in each day.

In the quiet stillness of each day,  spirituality deepens. But we must first become aware of all the quiet stillness  that is with us each day. We block this awareness when we become preoccupied with what we are going to do next.  Awareness of what we need to do next is not  so important. What is important is the focus on the silence of this moment.  As I am sitting here in my office at  home, it is not important to worry about the next moment. It is only important to focus on writing these articles, which I have been privileged to do for the past 25 years.

When I stay focused on this moment,  I discover and experience such meaningful and uplifting silences. Silence is so filled with depth and meaning. Silence in each day is a gift in which I discover such profound insights and awareness of how to be fully alive. When I am not rushing, I am experiencing a profound awareness of God and my resistances and defenses to experience God in a positive and meaningful manner.

The embrace of silence becomes the embrace of compassion. It also becomes the embrace of gratitude for my existence. In this silence I become more aware of making good decisions without anger, resentments or rushing. It is a whole new way of living positively when I appreciate and embrace the many quiet moments of my day. The silences  throughout each day help me realize that each moment is  a journey into experiencing God. I do not have to analyze this journey. I simply need to become aware of the many silences that come my way each day. When I realize these many silent times, I will be challenged to embrace them humbly and gratefully.  When I do this, my whole system will long for something deeper.  And I then begin to experience this fundamental principle of life: Only in you, O God, is my soul at rest.

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