12 Franciscan Weeks of Peace: Week 10

December 6 – 11

The thought for this week is Silence. Can you tolerate silence? Silence is more than just the complete absence of sound.

Mother Teresa said, ““In the silence of the heart, God speaks. If you face God in prayer and silence, God will speak to you. Then you will know that you are nothing. It is only when you realize your nothingness, your emptiness, that God will fill you with himself. Souls of prayer are souls of great silence.”

In silence, things are happening. God is speaking as you are emptying; and as you are emptying, God is filling you up with himself. In our busy society, it has become more difficult to turn off all the noise and gadgets and completely shut down and fall still. This is part of who we are called to be. If we are to follow Jesus in the manner of Saint Francis, then we must turn off all the noise and fall still. Jesus and Francis both took the time to steal away from the others to become one with the Father in solitude and silence. This was when they were being emptied in order to allow God to fill them with his holy will.

“It is fair to say that if you never spend time with another person you would be hard pressed to justify describing yourself as being in a relationship with the other. In order to foster a healthy and meaningful relationship with someone, time must be set aside during which the other person is your focus and your presence to each other takes priority.”
[From Dating God: Live and Love in the Way of St. Francis by Daniel P. Horan OFM]

Make spending quiet time with the Lord your focus and priority, then see how your other relationships improve. The Sufi poet Rumi said,“In silence there is eloquence. Stop weaving and see how the pattern improves.” Turn off the noise, quiet the busyness in your day, fall still and see how the pattern improves.

And then speak, but only if it improves the silence!

Psalm Fragment:
“God of Zion, to you even silence is praise.
Promises made to you are kept — you who listen to prayer — and all living things come to you.”
[Ps 65:1-2 ]

Reflection Question:
If you turned off your Smartphone or your mobile devices for one hour, what would you be missing? Is that worth one hour with the Lord?

This week:
For one hour, turn off all the noise and electronic gadgets and fall still before the Lord. Slowly and reverently recite the Lord’s Prayer and the Peace Prayer. Journal your experience.

Prayer for the week:

“O Lord, you examine me and know.
You know when I sit down and when I get up;
even from far away you understand my motives.
You carefully observe me when I travel or when I lie down to rest;
you are aware of everything I do.”

[Ps 139:1-3]

[Reprinted with the permission of Carolyn D. Townes OFS, National JPIC Coordinator]