Msgr Mike's Blog | Silence your cellphones... and yourselves
"Please silence your cellphones" we are often told before the beginning of a concert, play, movie or lecture. We know the reason why - so that we will not disturb people around us. But we also silence these necessary how-did-we-ever-live-without-them devices so that we ourselves will not be disturbed and so we can focus our attention on what is happening before us.
"Please silence your cellphones" were the words I heard last Sunday evening as my retreat was about to begin at Eastern Point - a Jesuit retreat house in Gloucester where I have been going every year or so since making my first directed retreat there in 1981 in preparation for Ordination. So I knew what would be coming next as the director of the retreat house welcomed a group of 40 priests and deacons from several East coast dioceses. "And at the conclusion of this meeting please silence yourselves for the rest of the week." Yes, it is true. Except for a daily meeting with our director, we would remain in silence for the entire retreat.
While some people might think a week of silence would be impossible to achieve, it is actually a wonderful gift which can help us listen more attentively to the stirrings in our hearts and to the voice of God who speaks to us in this silence. We all live in a busy, noisy world and are constantly surrounded by sound. Think of how many hours each day we spend speaking to others or listening to others speak. And then when we or they have finished, we turn to our electronics for more.
Silence helps us to pray better, to see God's active presence in our lives more clearly, and to discern more confidently what God is calling us to do or be. We all need periods of silence in order to maintain a healthy emotional and spiritual life. Perhaps during this season of Advent we could all take a little time now and then to silence our cellphones.......and ourselves.
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on Sunday, December 2, 2018 at 6:00AM