All of man’s misfortune comes from one thing, which is not knowing how to sit quietly in a room. ~ Blaise Pascal
True 300 years ago. True today.
Previously, I said I would write more on this quote. It is quite convicting if I think about how often in a week I sit in pure silence. Now, part of that is not my fault, of course! I have two busy children who are both chatterboxes like Mom!
Yet, I resist waking up before them as if it were torture. I hurry through my bedtime prayers and spiritual reading before my eyes collapse. My prayer during our family quiet time is even quick, because there is just. so. much. to. do!
I used to find such solace in my weekly Holy Hour, but I have not made the time for that since the tumult of my late summer. I guess it is time to go back if I can. Five minutes here and ten minutes there is no longer enough for this hungry soul.
Whether I find the time to get to Adoration or not, clearly I have identified times that I could indeed "sit quietly in a room" for a bit longer. When I get even a taste of it, I want more. I commented to my husband recently that it irritates me that at every pause in the spoken words of the Mass, the organist (who plays beautifully) fills those pauses with music, taking away our opportunity for forced silence.
That must be it. Unless it is forced upon us, our weakness and our bad habits of noise prevail. Indeed, needing noise is the result of habit. So it must follow that we can retrain ourselves to a new good habit, one of silence. After all, sisters in the convent require Sacred Silence, and many eat their meals in silence, creating the pauses that allow the Lord to enter their hearts. How much more do we, surrounded by iPods and cable TV need those pauses?
Silence. The word the Lord whispered to me to remember. It is good for me. I will find it.