In case you haven’t noticed, I am very interested in the connection between Sabbath and Justice. In my own life, I have noticed that I need my spiritual practices or practices of wholeness in order to prepare myself for the work of the people that I am called to participate in. I remember when I was going through my discernment process, I was advised to turn the radio off and to not read the news. Why? In order to rest my ears from the cries of all the hurting in the world.
Not to ignore it.
But to rest from it.
Does this remove your thinking about it? No! But I’ve gotten better over the years at setting a hard boundary of thought.
“God is the friend of silence.” Mother Theresa
Silencing your own thoughts and stilling your spirit can be hard work but it is worth it. When you silence words, other aspects of being open up. Maybe those silent monks know what they are [not] talking about!
You become open. To art. To music. To nature. To the Cosmos. To the Divine.
I remember a while ago, about 12 years ago to be somewhat exact, I went on a weekend retreat. It started out as most retreats do. Names. Where are you froms. That sort of thing. Then they said, “While you are here, we will take care of time for you. You don’t need to worry about it. So now, go put away your watches and your cell phones.”
Of course, this is where you start thinking, “Am I in a cult?”
Then they said, “It is now time for the end of our day. You can go back to your room [which we shared with six people] and rest for the evening. But for now, it will be a silent retreat. No talking until morning after prayers.”
I don’t know if you understand what that means to a verbose extrovert. Double gak. But I complied. I was not exactly comfortable with being among 60 people and the sheer noise of the quietness. The silence felt so loud! So forced! But I did it! And from that moment, the weekend started slowing down.
By letting go of noise and time, time lost its power over me. Hmm. I think I just talked myself into committing to technology free Sabbath days. (My Monday is my Sabbath, FYI!) Or at least telephone free Sabbath days.
Silence. Rest. Sabbath.
It’s just divine.
(Take a listen to Beethoven's Silence)
Shalom and Amen!