“Silence frees us from the need to control others. One reason we can hardly bear to remain silent is that it makes us feel so helpless. We are accustomed to relying upon words to manage and control others. A frantic stream of words flows from us in an attempt to straighten others out. We want so desperately for them to agree with us, to see things our way. We evaluate people, judge people, condemn people. We devour people with our words. Silence is one of the deepest Disciplines of the Spirit simply because it puts the stopper on that.
When we become quiet enough to let go of people, we learn compassion for them.”
The peace that is pointed to in Advent is the shalom made possible by the hope that only God can give. A hope that invisibly but consistently grows like a rose under the snows of winter, that transforms our own desire to be the center of things through fasting and self-denial, so that we can be(come) aware of the needs of all of our neighbors, living in and from generosity, trusting in abundance, not scarcity. It’s a hope that changes not just our attitudes, but our bodies, relationships, economics – the universe. It’s a hope not only that the light shines in the darkness, but also that the darkness has never understood and will never overcome that light.
In this day of sabbath, at the end of the week, give yourself to a period of silence. Turn of your devices if you need to. Go into a separate room. Even close and lock the door. Sit and be. Be aware of your breath. Breath deeply. Feel the sure and solid ground under your feet. You didn’t do anything to ensure that you have air to breath or a foundation underneath you. It is. It’s there. God is. If you need help silencing down your mind, and thoughts, use the mandala (pictured below) – or better yet DOWNLOAD A COPY HERE.