At around five pm yesterday, I sat down to find a passage from St. Faustina's diary to read for the Divine Mercy Chaplet prayer group. The first few passages I came too seemed too down-beat for me. I wanted some positive energy from St. Faustina. I came to a passage about silence, which really struck me, but I moved on, because it, too, seemed a little negative. Eventually, I found a paragraph that seemed to fit with what I wanted to say, and I went about fixing dinner and preparing for vespers.
I went into the chapel for vespers a little early so I could have some quiet time with God. As I sat there and prayed, it came to me that the passage about silence was precisely the message that I needed to hear. Although busy with good things, I have allowed myself to become too noisy and too busy. I realized that part of my Advent preparation for Christmas ought to be a return to silence. Not the kind of silence that is for show, and which I could try to impose on others, but an interior silence which I could cultivate within my own heart. The kind of silence that invites God to speak to us.
So, even though I wanted to read another passage, I ended up returning to the passage on silence. Here's what our sister, Saint Faustina, had to say:
"The tongue is a small member, but it does big things. A religious who does not keep silence will never attain holiness; that is, she will never become a saint. Let her not delude herself--unless it is the Spirit of God who is speaking through her, for then she must not keep silent. But, in order to hear the voice of God, one has to have silence in one's soul and to keep silence; not a gloomy silence, but an interior silence; that is to say, recollection in God. One can speak a great deal without breaking silence and, on the contrary, one can speak little and be constantly breaking silence. Oh, what irreparable damage is done by the breach of silence! We cause a lot of harm to our neighbor, but even more to our own selves.
"In my opinion, and according to my experience, the rule concerning silence should stand in the very first place. God does not give himself to a chattering soul which, like a drone in a beehive, buzzes around but gathers no honey. A talkative soul is empty inside. It lacks both the essential virtues and intimacy with God. A deeper interior life, one of gentle peace and that of silence where the Lord dwells, is quite out of the question. A soul that has never tasted the sweetness of inner silence is a restless spirit which disturbs the silence of others. I have seen many souls in the depths of hell for not having kept their silence; they told me so themselves when I asked them what was the cause of their undoing. They were souls of religious. My God, what an agony it is to think that not only might they have been in heaven, but they might even have become saints! O Jesus, have mercy!"
If that isn't a warning cry, I don't know what is!
Br. Paul, OP~