Tuesday, December 11, 2012


Silence. . . the silence of nature, especially in winter when growth continues, though in restfulness, under packs of leaves or protective covers. The silence of two who love one another deeply, comfortably, and in quiet presence. The early morning silence before any schedules whip us into so much doing. The silence before noon prayer when we sit and await the gong that calls us to prayer. The silence following upon much research and scholarship - before words come from a teacher’s mouth, or flow from a writer’s pen. There is the Great Silence that St. Benedict bids us cherish: “After Compline no one will be permitted to speak further” RB, 42.

And now upon us, the silence of Advent, of a mother growing a child within, a family readying itself for the Incarnation!

Can we believe in the fruitfulness of rest, of womb-silence, of awaiting the joy of Christmas? Can we actually and conscientiously practice silence?

A slight re-working of the familiar Serenity Prayer might be ours this 2nd week of Advent:

God, grant me the SERENITY to know
    what I need to know, to buy, to say;
      the COURAGE to ignore
         what I don’t need to know, to say, to buy;
           and the WISDOM to know the difference.

Renee Domeier, OSB

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