the sanctuary of silence

I drove to a newly-constructed church today. It has a new Blessed Sacrament Chapel as well. You know how sometimes, you can hear the buzz from the electric lights? Or the humdrum of the air conditioner? Well, there was none of that in this chapel. It was utterly silent.

A few men came and went. But for about an hour, I had just two elderly ladies as steady companions.

The walls in the chapel were bare white…

The sunlight was cascading in…

You could hear a pin drop in there.

It was utterly glorious.

But what’s up with my generation? Well, I can tell you what’s all around it: NOISE. Smart phones, tablets, portable music players, satellite radio, news  streams, instant messaging…. and the old-fashioned cable and radio. Consequently, there is never a moment we can really hear God.

I intentionally try to quiet that noise from our entertainment-focused, work-obsessed society. And even then, it’s still my voice that’s the last thing to go. It’s my often my overthinking that I have to get rid of last.

But just being in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel WITH Our LORD, in silence, for more than 15 minutes… is already so counter-cultural as it is… and is so different than what I’m used to.

Be still and know that I am GOD.

Be still and know that I AM.

Be still and know.

Be still.


That last line, “Be”?

Well, that’s where He finds me.

Author Matthew Kelly often refers to something he calls “The Classroom of Silence.” I’d like to re-coin that phrase to “The Sanctuary of Silence.”

I truly believe that in the quietest of moments, God speaks to us.

I’m still learning how to detach completely from thinking about my duties and my anxieties and my racing thoughts.

I’m still learning how to listen.

I’m still learning how to be— so His Spirit can get into me! (Well, more, and even deeper, that is.)

How frustrating, and how utterly romantic. I know I will die trying. But His words to me are worth the relentless effort, so long as I am courageous enough to persist!


The view I had waking up among millions of teen and young adult pilgrims at World Youth Day 2011 in Madrid, Spain. It was the morning that we were to meet the pope (he was to drive through the crowds on a gigantic airfield). It was insanely quiet. Upon waking, I smelled an intense scent of roses (often a sign of Mother Mary’s presence– I was pleasantly surprised and delighted!)… and I heard God in the most inaudible way. There He was, somehow conveying to me: “Good morning, my beloved daughter! I love you!”


2 thoughts on “the sanctuary of silence

  1. smisuza122 says:

    This post is fantastic. (Not to mention the two previous posts were great to read as well)
    And I do believe I just decided what I am going to do for Lent.

    You keep posting, I will keep reading.


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