Fragile silence

From Mother Teresa’s “Total Surrender”, p. 103-104

To make possible true interior silence, we shall practice:

Silence of the eyes, by seeking always the beauty and goodness of God everywhere, closing it to the faults of others and to all that is sinful and disturbing to the soul.

Silence of the ears, by listening always to the voice of God and to the cry of the poor and the needy, closing it to all the other voices that come from the evil one or from fallen human nature: e.g. gossip, tale-bearing, and uncharitable words

Silence of the tongue, by praising God and speaking the life-giving Word of God that is the Truth that enlightens and inspires, brings peace, hope, and joy and by refraining from self-defense and every word that causes darkness, turmoil, pain, and death.

Silence of the mind, by opening it to the truth and knowledge of God in prayer and contemplation, like Mary who pondered the marvels of the Lord in her heart, and by closing it to all untruths, distractions, destructive thoughts, rash judgment, false suspicions of others, revengeful thoughts, and desires.

Silence of the heart, by loving God with our whole heart, soul, mind, and strength and one another as God loves, desiring God alone and avoiding all selfishness, hatred, envy, jealousy, and greed.

Our silence is a joyful and God-centered silence; it demands of us constant self-denial and plunges us into the deep silence of God where aloneness with God becomes a reality.

Interior silence takes prayer, diligence and faithfulness to practice; yet, it is a fragile silence, at least when you are taking baby steps as I am. It can be very easily disturbed when I am not diligent in guarding my senses. When I am in a group, and when conversations flow easily, I can easily let in spiritual ‘noise’. When I am more aware of whether each word I say or hear gives the light of Christ or adds to the darkness, it is sobering to realize how often I do and observe the latter, even when I am among good people of faith.

O Lord come to my aid. Lord make haste to help me! Help me to cultivate and maintain that deep interior silence in which you speak to me, and from whence I receive the grace to live with true compassion. Amen.

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