Friday, 15 January 2016

Silent Nights

One of our innovations in community this academic year has been to spend one evening most weeks in silence. Not every single week, as there are some other intrusions which are unavoidable, but as a general rule, Wednesdays are booked out, not to DO anything; in fact, exactly the opposite.

We eat a simple meal, usually soup and bread, together in silence; have evening prayer as usual, then spend the evening in silence until we close with very short night prayer at 9.15.

For me, at least, this silent space has not just been about not talking to each other: it is also the evening when my phone is switched off and laptop lid stays resolutely closed. No facebook, no email. No marking or planning or sorting diary dates. No getting jobs done or adding more things to a never-ending jobs list.

A time to read or sometimes to write. To draw or to paint. To walk, to sit, to reflect, to pray; and sometimes, for a time, to do absolutely nothing at all.

Those who know me personally will know that quiet isn't perhaps the very first word that springs to mind. Silent, definitely not.

And yet this promise of silence each week, this time to stop and say I do not always have to do, has been a lifeline, a release valve and a beautiful space.

I cannot recommend it strongly enough.

Do you set aside times of quiet for openness to the Holy Spirit? All of us need to find a way into silence which allows us to deepen our wareness of the divine and to find the inward source of our strength. Seek to know an inward stillness, even amid the activities of daily life. Do you encourage in yourself and others a habit of dependence on God's guidance for each day? Hold yourself in the Light, knowing that all are cherished by God.
(Quaker Advices and Queries 4.)

No comments:

Post a Comment