Silence: A challenging but valuable discipline

I wrote a spiritual reflection on silence for Aleteia:

Not long ago, I did an eight-day silent retreat. In my community we do this every year. Afterward I Tweeted out a short summary: “So often in prayer what really matters is something beyond words: the experience of God above what language can describe. I’d say the greatest fruit of my 8-day was being peacefully alone with God. That is so inadequate but language fails in describing God.”

A true thought, but far from complete. Some people assume that, as I am a priest, silence comes easily to me, but not to them. In reality, cultivating silence is hard for all of us.

But hard things are (often) valuable and worth doing. Nobody in society is going to get after my cousin for spending more than a decade to get a PhD – society realizes that although that’s difficult, it has value. Unfortunately, society often misses the value that comes from living the silence of a retreat.

Read the rest on Aleteia.

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