A Disturbance In The Force

I visited my local monastery today and took a walk on its grounds. Going down hill is always much easier than coming up hill. On my way back up hill I hear the bells ring for prayer. Having huffed and puffed at quick pace to reach the Church I made it inside.

I caught some, but not all of it and only one or two lay people sat there in attendance. When they had left a great audible silence fell over the place. A monk sat at the front row and basked in this for some time. Then in the entrance to the Church, a loud booming voice resounded around the Church.

The person was unaware he was speaking so loudly. It was enough of a sound that it turned the monks head and he did so with an expression of disapproval mingled with disappointment. I laughed inside because I could see what was happening.

There is a danger in all of us to cherish the audible silence over and above that of the soul, other people and yes, Christ himself. This little disturbance was sent to him by Christ as a gift, and rather than receiving it like the Rose is was, he mistook it for a thorn. When this happens us and our silence becomes more important than Christ, it is because our soul is not at peace and there is much work for the Holy Spirit to do.

A monk, priest, deacon or indeed a lay person needs to be able to distinguish between the two types of silence. It is important to learn how to be silent in all situations. A difficult task for all of us but being of aware ones fault is half the battle for what King can defend his castle if he’s unaware of the army approaching it?

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