Sunday, March 08, 2009

The Sound of Silence

I always find it a little funny to make all kinds of plans and then remember that I'm not actually the one pulling the strings. Helps keep me in my place, you know.

I figured I would close my comments for Lent, in an effort to get myself away from the attention-seeking aspect of blogging. I also thought I'd bone up on some spiritual reading, spend a more time in prayer, transform myself into a more loving and patient person, and voila!, I'd have a fulfilling Lent.

But so far, my Lent has felt . . . scattered. I have not added as much prayer as I had planned, I have not done any reading, and I am not measurably more patient or loving. In fact, I feel frazzled. For no discernible reason, I am a little crispy around the edges these days.

As I tried to figure out what was lacking, I continued about my usual routine and, around last Thursday, I realized that maybe what God is intending for me this Lent is silence, both internally and externally.

I cannot explain or express how clearly I felt called to close my comments during Lent, even above the protestations of good and well-meaning friends. I wanted to keep them open -- I want to open them right now! -- but I just could not ignore the thought of closing them.

I know there are a few people out there who are frustrated by the lack of comment availability right now, and to them, all I can say is, It's not you, it's me.

In all my efforts thus far, I cannot escape the feeling, the knowledge, that I need to be quieter for a while. And that includes things like blog comments, which feed my interior monologue.

I also do not think it's a coincidence that I have been running across quotes like this almost every day:

Silence is not a privation of stillness, nor a muteness, nor an emptiness;
it is a communion by which one attains truth above creation and action.

Bishop Fulton J. Sheen

Nor is it a coincidence that I have yet another sore throat/sinus infection that puts limits on all my yelling at dialogue with the children and Rob. Or that the computer had some kind of spasm or stroke on Friday and I was off line for the entire day. No blog reading, no commenting, no Facebooking, nothing doing.

I find it very telling that, when I realized there was nothing I could do on the computer, I was a little bewildered as to what I would do with myself when I had some free time.

HELLOOOO! How's about you slip a little extra Rosary in there, Aim. Or a little light Bible reading. Or just sitting without the distraction of a computer screen.

So what does this mean? I don't know exactly. I think I need to be still. I know that sounds close to impossible, but I think I need to concentrate on my internal stillness. Stillness of spirit and stillness of tongue.

I don't mean that I'm giving up the blog or taking a vow of silence -- I could never get away with that around here. The inmates would end up running the asylum!

I'm not exactly sure how I will do it, but I am going to search out that stillness I'm lacking.

Breathe on me, Breathe on me, Breath of God.
Fill me with life, fill me with life anew,
That I may love the things You love,
And do what You would do.