The Long Silence
God is always speaking to us, showing us many things through our relationship with Him. The Holy Spirit walks with us; through the Eucharistic mystery, Christ is in us. Are we aware? Do we listen? Do we give Him the time and silence He needs to commune with us properly?
It never escapes me that the length of our Saturday of the Holy Week has been called the “long silence.” I always thought of this day as when our Lord was ‘gone,’ before He came back in His resurrected glory, but the more I think on it and embrace His silence, the more I am convicted that I have always had it backward. The silence is not His but ours. It is a gift for us, a moment chosen for us, so we can search closely for His teachings conveyed, not just in the words, but in the “being on the expectation of the moment,” in the waiting for what is to come.
It is not every day that I find myself without words to describe something, but when it happens, it is usually related to God. It is somewhat of a habit of mine that when a thought to ponder comes to mind, I write it down. Sometimes this is easy to do, like, “Remember that you were loved from the beginning,” to describe my parents’ acceptance of the fact that I was conceived and born of their love, a continuation of God’s love for them and me. But other times, it is not so simple, especially when trying to explain how God speaks to me. Nonetheless, I try to scribble some words to remind me later of the wisdom I received from Him.
It is good for us to write down what God has shared with us, ideas and concepts, in the hope that, in the future, we will be walking closer to God’s wisdom and may be able to both understand and express them better. That is probably why Our Lord Jesus spoke in parables. The scenes described in the parables contain the reality of His teachings much better than any sermon, definition, or description would. They engage our imagination and put us inside the scene. How would we put the fullness of that into words?
So, what are we to do? We must put in the time. We must separate ourselves from the bustle of the world for a bit and attempt to grab those images, feelings, and experiences and ponder on them so that we will grasp not just the words, but the meaning intended for us, and then maybe we write that down. And I think that it is a gift for us if we can do this. We can later sit down, apart from most, and read from these bits of wisdom that He has shared with us. It is part of deepening our faith and strengthening our relationship with Him who loves us. Yet, it is about more than writing and reading; it is about experiencing.
Christ died for us; He also comes back as the conqueror of death for us. This only sounds like words; in reality, it is world changing. The concept conveyed is more significant than we can describe, and maybe we fail to describe it adequately with words. Thus, let us invite ourselves to let go of words for a little while and experience what happens today and every day in our relationship with God. Let us find Christ Jesus in the very moments that define our lives and glean wisdom from His concepts, ideas, and thoughts, that we may experience Him; that during the long silence, His words may transcend beyond letters and sounds and become, for us, an authentic experience of life in Him.
Let us pray: Christ, you have died for our redemption. You also rose again to life so that we would live in the hope for eternal life in Heaven, help us live, paying attention to all You share with us. Help us gain more of Your wisdom every day so that we may grow ever closer to You. Amen.
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We are Ivonne J. Hernandez, Rick Hernandez and Laura Worhacz, Lay Associates of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament, and brothers and sisters in Christ.