Hi friends and welcome to the Arise, Beloved blog. We have an amazing team of writers behind this blog and our desire is to speak truth into the lies that cripple us and shine light into the darkness that isolates us because we believe that now, more than ever, the Church desperately needs women to be restored so that the world can be set ablaze. Our hope is that you find comfort, solace, and peace in knowing that you are not alone, you are not too far gone and there is ALWAYS hope to be found.
// Catie Welsh //
Not too long ago, my family decided to go for a Costco run while my sister was at basketball practice. I decided to tag along, even though I had no real reason to. After getting hit with some serious carsickness, I found myself regretting the trip, especially when after we went to Costco, I was faced with waiting in the parking lot of my home parish for 25 minutes for her practice to be over. As we pulled into the parking lot, the Holy Spirit struck, and I hopped out of the car and headed inside the church. After all, sitting in my favorite church for 25 minutes was way better than sitting in the car while my grandparents listened to the news on the radio.
Delighted to have the church to myself for the first time probably ever, I hurried all the way to the front and plopped myself down to adore my Lord and Savior.
Then I realized something. I have never heard St. Rose silent before. In all my years of going to St. Rose (too many for me to even begin to count), I’ve never heard it silent.
Three months ago, I would have reveled in that silence. But now? Now it made me shift uncomfortably in my seat and lean over to check the time. Still 20 minutes to go. Shoot.
It seems paradoxical, but sometimes silence is deafening.
I never used to feel that way about silence. It used to be something I craved, something I tried to cultivate in my every day life, something that I would jealously safeguard. When did silence become so uncomfortable for me, something to be avoided at all costs?
Sitting there in my favorite church, secretly hoping that someone, anyone, would walk in, I found my answer.
Silence became a hostile environment for me when it stopped being the vehicle for me to hear the voice of God.
At some point in the last four months, silence became a reminder of the chasm that seems to exist between myself and God.
Silence, rather than giving me the opportunity to quiet my soul so that I can hear His voice, has now become a deafening, crushing sensation that causes me to do everything I can to make noise so that I don’t have to face a truth that makes me almost sick to admit.
I no longer hear the voice of God. I’m no longer in tune with it. Or He’s no longer speaking.
Desolation, folks. It’s not pretty.
But you know what? I’m not the only person who’s felt this loss of the Lord’s voice. 400 years passed between the time that the last prophet spoke in the Old Testament and the time that Christ was born to us on a silent night. 400 years of silence, of desolation. For 400 years, the Israelites felt the paradox that comes with silence. I wasn’t there, but after 400 years, I’m willing to bet that the Israelites were beginning to feel a little hopeless.
Tonight, after 25 minutes of deafening, crushing, piercing silence, I realized that when I’m forced to face the silence, I’m assaulted by the fear that God will not come, that He will not speak, that He will forevermore remain silent.
It’s been four months and I’m barely holding on, how can I handle 400 years?
But after 400 years of silence, God came. And He came in silence.
Silence is hard for me. 15 minutes of silence in my home parish felt like hours. I wanted to put on music, to go home and turn on the TV, to call a friend, anything that could distract me from the desperation I felt when facing the silence. I suddenly wished that I had brought a rosary to pray on or my bible to read or my breviary to pray with. Anything that could give me the chance to escape from the discomfort that silence brought my soul.
But unless I want to miss Him when He does come to me again, I can’t do that.
Our Savior came to us on a silent night. The King of Heaven and Earth, who made everything we have and everyone we know, came to us in such humility that only those whose hearts were silent could recognize Him.
Is my heart silent? Is yours?
Until it is, we will not be able to recognize the many ways that our King comes to us every day.
I pray that during these busy summer times, both you and I will be able to silence our hearts as we prepare for the coming of our Savior.
Come, Lord Jesus.