Friday, February 19, 2010

Not Able To Hear The Small Voice Within

Many hear the call of the wilderness, the call of silence. Mother Teresa of Calcutta affirmed: "We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature--trees, flowers, grass--grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence.... We need silence to be able to touch souls." These thoughts are not unique to Christianity, but known by different cultures and religions; the response of many, " it didn't work, I tried it."

A woman writing for the The Catholic Times answered that call for silence. She rented a house of a friend; left the noisy city of Seoul, and went to the country for some peace and quiet. On arriving she felt like a camel seeing an oasis in the desert. The mind was relaxed and all was well.

That evening the silence was so pronounced she could not sleep. She turned on a music radio station, and finally went to sleep the following morning with the chirping of the birds. She left the city for peace and silence of the country, and was forced to return to the noise of the city. She changed the location but she wasn't able to leave the noise and 'give and take' of city life. It was her addiction.

She remembered, at a younger age, walking at night under a full moon enjoying the quiet peace. At the ocean she would sit on a rock overlooking the great expanse, and for hours be lost in deep silence. What happened to that independence she once enjoyed?

Imperceptibly she had become addicted to the noisy city life. She was caught in the grip of technological advances in communication: she walked with a receiver in her ear; she needed her hand phone to feel at home and if forgotten felt restless; she had to find the latest news on the Internet. Her eyes and ears where always tuned to something outside of herself. She no longer had time for her inner life.

For Christians the problem with this addiction is we no longer have the silence in our hearts that enables us to hear the whisperings of God. We are turned on to what is outside of us; we don't have time to turn within. Bombarded with all kinds of sounds we miss the " tiny whispering sound" that gives life and joy.

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