Silence in the Season
In the spring, there always seems to be a sprinkler going, a dog barking, or the songbirds from Bambi singing about springtime. In the summer, there is always a boombox playing somewhere or kids hanging out outside. In the fall, there is always noise as the leaves rustle in the wind. It seems that every season brings with it a different kind of noise.
The winter is coming upon us in Canada. The days are shorter. The nights grow longer. I do love the winter regardless of the cold and the loss of daylight. To me, there is something about this season (liturgically and environmentally) that brings me the greatest sense of peace. In my old neighbourhood, I loved being outside in the winter. I lived not too far from a small wood with fields on either side by the schools. It was always unbelievably silent in the winter. It was like the world was on mute.
I sometimes wonder if the night Christ was born was as silent as some of the winter nights I experienced. The answer? Probably not. He was surrounded by animals. Shepherds showed up later, and if you have ever been near sheep, there is usually always some sheep trying to start up a ‘baa-fest’. The wise men came as well, bearing their gifts. There was probably always something going on. There was probably always some kind of noise.
As Christmas approaches, I think we need to prepare in our hearts a place that is silent, peace-filled, and reverent. Adoration Chapels are an amazing place to encounter silence. People came from all over to come and adore Him and spend time with Him. In a sense, the wise men and shepherds demonstrated the the distances people would go to see the newborn King. Shepherds travelled from a few fields away and the magi that travelled thousands of miles. Both came to honour the babe in a manger in a humble stable, and both bowed to Him.
How far would we go to spend time with Christ in silence and in what ways can we do this?
There is the obvious way of going to adoration at your local church. Unfortunately, not every parish has perpetual adoration, but adoration and benediction are celebrated at most parishes weekly. The benefit of perpetual adoration is that you can go whenever you like. There is a beautiful silence in an adoration chapel. I can’t even explain it. Each time I go, there is a sense of peace. I can almost hear in my heart, “I am here, and I have been waiting for you.” I reflect in my heart that the Eucharist before me is also the little infant that so many years ago was visited in a humble manger.
The other way is in this way: silence your heart. Silence your mind. Listen. Shut everything down around you, and do this daily. Welcome Him into your heart. We should meditate on the joyful mystery of the incarnation and the nativity, and remind ourselves of His sacrificial love that He showed so profoundly on the cross. At this time of year, I can imagine Him sleeping soundly in the manger, and then opening His eyes and staring at me, and then He smiles. In the blink of an eye, His eyes meet mine again, but this time, He is on the cross.
This time of year is filled with business. Malls are flooded with people buying Christmas presents. People host Christmas parties for family and friends. Students are all coming home to be with their family members whom they haven’t seen in months. I won’t forget to mention the Christmas music that is also blaring everywhere. There is a lot of noise, and while it is all for the sake of celebration, we should show Christ our King homage in quiet humility. This Christmas, I encourage you all to take time to make silence and to make room for Christ again. Spend time with Him in the Blessed Sacrament. Talk to Him in your prayer at home, and during the day in your heart. Please pray for me this Christmas season. I will be praying for you.
I found this incredibly informative about where you can attend adoration.
Posted on December 1, 2014, in Advent, Catholic, child, Christian, Christmas, eucharist, mystery and tagged adoration, Advent, blessed sacrament, Christmas, joyful mystery, nativity. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.