Listen and you will hear His voice

Undoubtedly most of us have either heard or used the phrase “Silence is Golden” at some point in our life. This is actually the final refrain of an old Swiss inscription “Sprecfien ist silbern, Schweigen ist golden” which in English translates to “Speech is silver, Silence is golden.” The 19th century poet Thomas Carlyle once wrote that “Silence is the element in which great things fashion themselves together; that at length they may emerge, full-formed and majestic, into the daylight of Life, which they are thenceforth to rule.”

Golda Meir, the former prime minister of Israel, knew the virtue of silence. Elinor Burkett, author of Golda tells how often people who met her were impressed with her intellect and wisdom. Upon reflection those who spent any time with Golda came to realize that she asked questions and then listened intently, focusing on the other person. She kept her own views to herself and her silence increased her stature in the eyes of others. “Where one cannot understand without words, no amount of explanation will make things clear,” wrote Myrtle Reed.

When we speak we cannot contemplate, and without contemplation we cannot be present to the silent world that surrounds us. Too often we attempt to fill quiet moments with words because we are uncomfortable with the silence that pervades.  When we speak to fill the void it is an attempt to control the situation, to become the master of the moment. “I am master of all I explain,” someone said.

It is in silence that we come into the presence of God and it is only in silence that we can hear His voice. As Elijah experienced, the Lord was not in the great and strong wind, earthquake, or fire; the Lord was in a tiny whispering sound. For us to hear the voice of God we must remain silent, we must listen intently, we must focus everything on Him. We will never hear His voice as long as we continue to speak.

When we come together to worship and give thanks and praise to God we enter into His holy place; it is sacred ground. God is present and we must be silent to his presence. Normal social conversation has no place in His holy place. While it is a distraction to some who wish to spend time with God it displays a lack of reverence for our Creator. Silence is golden, listen and you will hear His voice, then go out into the world and spread the Good News.

About the author: Deacon Chuck

Deacon Chuck was ordained into the permanent diaconate on September 17, 2011, in the ministry of service to the Diocese of Reno and assigned to St. Albert the Great Catholic Community. He currently serves as the parish bulletin editor and website administrator. Deacon Chuck continues to serve the parish of Saint Albert the Great Catholic Community of the Diocese of Reno, Nevada. He is the Director of Adult Faith Formation and Homebound Ministries for the parish, conducts frequent adult faith formation workshops, and is a regular homilist. He currently serves as the bulletin editor for the parish bulletin. He writes a weekly column intended to encompass a broad landscape of thoughts and ideas on matters of theology, faith, morals, teachings of the magisterium and the Catholic Church; they are meant to illuminate, illustrate, and catechize the readers and now number more than 230 articles. His latest endeavor is "Colloqui: A journal for restless minds", a weekly journal of about 8 pages similar in content to bulletin reflections. All his reflections, homilies, commentaries, and Colloqui are posted and can be found on his website: Comments are always welcome and appreciated. He is the author of two books: "The Voices of God: hearing God in the silence" which offers the reader insights into how to hear God’s voice through all of the noise that surrounds us; and "Echoes of Love: Effervescent Memories" which through a combination of prose and verse provides the reader with a wonderful journey on the way to discovering forever love. He regularly speaks to groups of all ages and size and would welcome the opportunity to speak to your group.

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