Hello dear sisters in Christ,
I just came back from a weekend retreat of sorts and wanted to share with you a very beautiful thing I discovered.
But this silence wasn't just time away from noisy little siblings or the hustle and bustle of a city. It was the inner silence of heart, soul, and mind. Have you ever been on a silent retreat? They're very nice for spending time with Our Lord and organizing your thoughts. We're constantly surrounded by noise, music, thoughts, and talking in this secular world. All of these things, even if they're not always bad, can be distractions from our true selves, our souls, and Jesus Christ. Now when you go on a silent retreat, you can have the silence of tongue but it's another thing to keep silence in your thoughts and heart. It's hard sometimes! But don't worry, it's very rewarding!
I wanted to try to figure some things in my life out and discern where God wants me to go next. I wanted to hear Jesus speak to me and I wanted to speak to Him. I thought I could do that at church on Sundays or at weekly Eucharistic Adoration but it is even so much easier and better if you can silence your thoughts and heart to hear Him. St. Teresa of Avila says, "However softly we speak, He is near enough to hear us. Neither is there any need for wings to go to find Him. All one need do is to go into solitude and look at Him within oneself."
I had a hard time concentrating my thoughts and getting song lyrics out of my head at first, but it was so rewarding. I was able to look at myself in Christ's presence and listen for His movements. Of course, I didn't hear Him as if it was my dad talking to me, but thoughts came into my head or I was able to concentrate on what I had been taught. St. John of the Cross says, "What we need most in order to make progress is to be silent before this great God ... for the language He hears best is silent love."
I realized how noisy my soul and mind are, even at church!! I think about so many things and even worry! All of this is to say I want to urge you to try and find some silence of heart so you can grow closer to Our Lord and His Blessed Mother. Maybe take 15mins in your room (or if you share a room with others, maybe go outside or even to the quietest room in the house. Don't be afraid to use a closet! 😉) and just try to find silence. Concentrate on God. If your thoughts wander or get distracted, don't worry and certainly don't give up. It's hard when we're constantly used to thinking about things or listening to music to stop ourselves, but just try to start again. Ask God for help. Maybe even close your eyes. I know this helps me because my mind wanders with what I see. (Oh, look! There's that novel I wanted to read. Wait, there's so and so. I wonder what they're doing after Mass. Hey! It's my missing homework assignment. I should finish that.) Just close your eyes, quiet your thoughts, and be. Just be. Then ask Our Lord to guide you. To speak to you. He may not do it right away or in the way we expect, but He will.
A weekend silent retreat that lasts a few days is always very great because first, you can just quiet yourself, then you can listen, then you can start examining yourself, and other things. Of course, these all take time but if we keep working at it, we can grow closer to Jesus in the quiet of our hearts. Please say a prayer for me and know you are all in my prayers as well!!
God love you!!