The Daily Office: Day 80- My Soul is Silence
Silence for 2-5 minutes:
If your mind wanders, silently pray a simple prayer again and again, such as, "I surrender to your love" or "Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me" until the Holy Spirit gives you a sense of peace and focus
1 My soul waits in silence for God only; From Him is my salvation. 2 He only is my rock and my salvation, My stronghold; I shall not be greatly shaken.
3 How long will you assail a man, That you may murder him, all of you, Like a leaning wall, like a tottering fence? 4 They have counseled only to thrust him down from his high position; They delight in falsehood; They bless with their mouth, But inwardly they curse. Selah.
5 My soul, wait in silence for God only, For my hope is from Him. 6 He only is my rock and my salvation, My stronghold; I shall not be shaken. 7 On God my salvation and my glory rest; The rock of my strength, my refuge is in God. 8 Trust in Him at all times, O people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Selah.
9 Men of low degree are only vanity and men of rank are a lie; In the balances they go up; They are together lighter than breath. 10 Do not trust in oppression And do not vainly hope in robbery; If riches increase, do not set your heart upon them.
11 Once God has spoken; Twice I have heard this: That power belongs to God; 12 And lovingkindness is Yours, O Lord, For You recompense a man according to his work.
Psalm 62, literally begins, Only toward God my soul is silence. David is saying that as he looks toward the Lord his soul is completely still and at rest. David is listening only for the Lord and in this state of utter silence and stillness, he cannot be shaken.
Silent retreats have been a source of soul renewal for me. When my first wife passed away, it was in a silent retreat that my soul was revived, my grief made bearable and God began to give me direction for my life. Somehow when your soul is silence you hear God with clarity and the most crushing sorrows of life are borne by Christ and healed.
Thomas Merton prays for this type of silence which understands that frantic activity is escapism:
Untie my hands and deliver my heart from sloth. Set me free from the laziness that goes about disguised as activity when activity is not required of me, and from the cowardice that does what is not demanded, in order to escape sacrifice. But give me the strength that waits upon You in silence and peace. Give me humility in which alone is rest, and deliver me from pride which is the heaviest of burdens. And possess my whole heart and soul with the simplicity of love. Occupy my whole life with the one thought and the one desire of love, that I may love not for the sake of merit, not for the sake of perfection, not for the sake of virtue, not for the sake of sanctity, but for You alone. For there is only one thing that can satisfy love and reward it, and that is You alone.
Merton, Thomas. New Seeds of Contemplation (p. 47). New Directions. Kindle Edition.
Pray Merton’s prayer. Is your activity rooted in abiding in Christ or but a means to escape His calling upon your life? Spend time waiting in silence upon the Lord until your soul is at rest.
O Lord, I can be preoccupied with much activity and my mind filled with the cacophony of words that I hear and speak each day. Bring my soul to silence and rest before you. Let me hear your words of life. I need you alone. Amen