Tuesday, June 10, 2014


Recently I read three statements that need to be published abroad:

NOISE is noxious and nerve-wracking.  It increases by the year and injures the ear. Everywhere there is muzak and newzak, sirens wailing, lights buzzing, transformers humming, air conditioners whirring.  Yes, even in the monastery, I’m defeated by the ubiquitous lawn mowers  in summer or the snowplow  in winter.

Far worse than all these sources of noise, though, is the feckless and febrile verbosity of human beings—verbal pollution.  Most of it is twaddle and reaches a feverish and virulent pitch in a crowd  . . . .  signs commanding ‘No Noise’ should be as prevalent as ‘No Littering’ and ‘No Smoking.’

I agree. Do you? Could we ponder it together? We don’t need to talk!    

There is a close connection between tranquility and sanity, silence and sanctity.  When and where a sense of the sacred is lost, noise takes over.  Vulgarity clashes with serenity; and wonder, the basis of wisdom, languishes.  

I agree.  Do you? Let’s be still together. (This article appeared in America, 12/7/1996. If noise increases by the year, what is there to say, then, these 20 years later?)

What can we expect when even the churches are noisy?  Bishop William Temple’s lament makes sense: ‘Poor little talkative Christianity!’ Are the temples any better? Back porches and bedrooms might be more conducive to awe, reverence and wonder.  To sit mindfully in a quiet place until stillness suffuses our whole being may provide the healing and holiness we so desperately need.  What other defense do we have against the assault on our senses?

That is my question too?  Is it yours as well?  I’m thinking I will take Mary the Mother of God as my model; she was the woman wrapped in silence. And, of course, Jesus, the Word spoken from eternity by the Father: “When all things were in quiet silence,” the Book of Wisdom tells us, “this Almighty Word leapt down out of heaven.”  I want to ponder that Word, I want to live into the relationships between the Father and the Word spoken, between the Mother of God and the Word she bore. Will you tell me how you defend yourself against noise? I would love to be with you in your efforts. . .

Renée Domeier, OSB

1 comment:

  1. Has God sent a prophet? www.thewarningsecondcoming.com
    Be sure to read about the “Seal of the Living God” found on the homepage links - *a Biblical reference to this topic: Rev. chapter 7