Thank you for your kindnesses over this past while, for prayers and good wishes, please know that they are appreciated and reciprocated, that you are remembered in my Mass and in my Rosary. It’s this kind of mutual support, prayerful companionship, kindness and concern that will see us through this present crisis and that will pave a way for a better future as we become more attuned to God and His will, and more concerned for one another.
I’ve just spent a holy half-hour in the church, and part of that time I was reading that book that I’ve mentioned to you earlier: In Sinu Iesu, the book written by a Benedictine monk. It’s said that the author is the Prior of Silverstream Priory in Ireland, where I have been on retreat these past two years (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZ06Rnc7AGc&t=3s). There were a few lines that really caught my attention as I was reading and which, I think are most appropriate for this time. The book is written as a dialogue with Our Lord, speaking to the heart of this monk, and in it Jesus says the following:
A week or more of silence will bring nothing but benefits to mind, soul, and body. I love silence – look at My sacramental life (i.e. the Sacred Host) – and I love those who follow Me into the silence of My Eucharistic presence. The Eucharist is the most silent of sacraments. Once the words of consecration are spoken, I am present, and My presence is wrapped in a profound silence. I am silent in the Sacrament of My love because there I am humble. There I lower Myself to live hidden, and often forgotten, in a silence that only the lowly of heart can understand.
I must admit, that first line of this passage hit me between the eyes: A week or more of silence will bring nothing but benefits to mind, soul, and body. This is what we are currently living through, and what an opportunity, then, if this is how the Lord sees silence, something that brings benefits to mind, soul, and body! It harks back to what many have already said, that our imposed isolation is like being on retreat, and that potentially, in terms of our spiritual lives and our relationship with God, there are many opportunities here to be seized. The spiritual communion that we have been encouraged to make, when most people now are unable to receive Our Lord sacramentally, is one way in which we can enter this silent intimacy with Jesus, inviting Him into our souls, and dwelling there with Him, loving Him, enjoying His presence, growing in His friendship. Indeed, this silent school of prayer that we are now experiencing will build up such a love for the Lord in our hearts, if we make the most of it, that when we can receive Him again sacramentally we will never take Him for granted, we will always cherish His presence, and seek it as frequently and as lovingly as we can.
Sometimes we can be afraid of silence, but it is only in silence that we can hear the voice of God speaking clearly. Now that there is less noise around us, fewer physical distractions, perhaps that voice of the Lord will become more intelligible. Again we can read in In Sinu Iesu:
Listen to me. It is in silence that I speak to souls. Those who flee silence will never hear My voice. Encourage silence and practice it yourself with a renewed dedication, for it is in silence that the Holy Spirit descends, and it is in silence that He works in souls, bringing them to holiness of life, and to the perfection that I desire for each one.
Maybe in our silence we should also consider doing some spiritual reading as a way of coming closer to the Lord, have a look at these videos which gives some good reasons why, and some good suggestions: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5oL06rCJL0M) or (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UiMdhKY9LtM) or (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RsVeu51kozE&t=489s)
God bless you and yours, and may your moments of silence be prayerful moments, moments of intimacy with the Lord!
With prayers and good wishes,