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Keeping Silence in the "Cloister" of Our Hearts This Advent
“May the God who is all love be your unchanging dwelling place, your cell, and your cloister in the midst of the world.” (Elizabeth of the Trinity)
As a young woman living in the hustle and bustle of the everyday life, I find myself at times struggling with hearing God’s voice through all of the noise. Actually, some days it feels more like the music from a rock concert is blasting in my ears; the never-ending 24/7 explosion of media coverage on the election and the Coronavirus.
There was a beautiful silence that echoed throughout the convent; a silence that now can only be present in the “cloister” of my heart. How do we maintain the quiet within our inner dwelling when we live in a noisy world, especially during this Advent season?
The key to having silence remain in our hearts is prayer. It is the intimate dialogue that takes place between God and man; the exchange of love between the Divine and humanity. Christ speaks to us in a language of love through the words of the psalms when we pray the Divine Office. He offers us consolation through the heart of His mother when we meditate on the mysteries of the Rosary. When we sit before the Blessed Sacrament in continuous adoration He gazes back at us with the offering to heal us with His Sacred Heart.
We do not have to say an audible word for God to be able to communicate with us. How often did Our Blessed Mother ponder all things in her heart? It is only by prayer that we can receive peace because when we allow ourselves to rest in Him the noise of the world dissipates, and only Christ remains at our center. We can be like Our Lady and allow Jesus Christ to become a permanent resident of our hearts where His Love dwells within, and we will continue to taste the sweetness of our Lord’s closeness to us.
“Listen well to this, my children. When I first came to Ars, there was a man who never passed the church without going in. In the morning on his way to work, and in the evening on his way home, he left his spade and pick-axe in the porch, and he spent a long time in adoration before the Blessed Sacrament. Oh! how I loved to see that! I asked him once what he said to Our Lord during the long visits he made Him. Do you know what he told me? ‘Eh, Monsieur le Curé I say nothing to Him, I look at Him and He looks at me!’ How beautiful, my children, how beautiful!” (Saint John Vianney)
We are all called to holiness; even those who are not in the priesthood or the consecrated religious life. Perfect union with God is our ultimate goal, and we need to prepare our hearts to receive Him wholly and entirely during this Advent season and always. We make room for God when we rid ourselves of the noise that resonates down into the depth of our soul.
It is only by spending time with the Lord in prayer that we can keep an inner silence that draws us closer to the Divine. When our hearts become a “cloister” the quiet offers a peace and stillness that stays with us even when our whole world seems to be upset. It is there that Jesus and our soul embrace; untroubled and undisturbed by all of the tumult and uproar of the world. And we remain a part of the never-ending love story.
Originally published at Ignitum Today