“At all times cultivate silence.”
These words in a chapel’s stained glass window made Judith Valente realize that although she led spiritual retreats for busy professionals, she had forgotten to nourish her own soul.
Writing in USA Today, she said, “What I lacked were moments of silence and solitude when I could simply be. Without them, I was losing drop by drop the inner resources I needed to do my work well and cultivate an inner life.”
Valente was on a retreat in a Benedictine monastery where she learned many lessons from the monastic practices that also could apply to her professional life. Foremost among these was conversatio which means “a constant turning, a continuous conversation with life.” However, we cannot have a conversation if we never stop to listen, which calls for periods of silence.
We are often so busy “doing” that we forget how to “be.” Set up a daily time of silence and listen for God’s voice.
But the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of sheer silence. (1 Kings 19:12)
Lord, may I always be attentive to Your still, small voice speaking out of the whirlwind of my life.