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In the Tomb – Scripture is silent about this day.
In terms of silence and solitude, this year has been a time of either feast or famine. You may have been completely isolated. Or you may have been surrounded by others, all stuck at home on top of each other. Or maybe you experienced both each day!
On this day we remember the silence, solitude, and fear of the tomb of Jesus. Jesus calls us from loneliness to solitude. The fear of being left alone, or left behind petrifies us. Our fear of being alone can drive us to noise and crowds, causing us to keep up a constant stream of words even if they are inane.
But loneliness or noisiness are not our only alternatives. We can cultivate an inner solitude and silence that sets us free from such fear. Loneliness is inner emptiness. Solitude is inner fulfillment. It’s more of a state of mind and heart than a place. It’s possible to maintain it even in a noisy crowd. Possessing inward solitude empowers us to not fear being alone for we recognize that we aren’t truly alone.
Without silence there is no solitude. Though silence sometimes involves the absence of speech, it always involves the act of listening. Simply refraining from speaking isn’t silence. Inner silence and solitude are connected, just as our mind, bodies and spirts are. (taken from A Celebration of Discipline. R. Foster)
Control, rather than no noise, is the key to silence. Today practice such listening silence. If it’s hard to do you can set a timer for 3-5 minutes. Then sit still and silent in a quiet place and listen. Listen first to your breathing, focusing on your breath. Repeat a silent breath prayer. “Lord I’m listening…” then sit into the silence. If your attention wanders, simply focus on your breath or the breath prayer.
After you finish reflect upon what you heard…from God?; about yourself or this past year?
How did such active silence make you feel?