It’s January. The carols have stopped. The voices and laughter of guests has faded away. The twittering and squeals of happy kids with new toys has slowed and stopped. It’s quiet. The winter is really just beginning. The cold and snow is sure to come, if it hasn’t already. Life is slower until the summer comes. Whether we want to or not, it is a time to rest.
Living in an apartment, next to new construction with a homeschooled six year old means that it is rarely quiet. When it is, it seems to happen without warning. I notice all at once that there’s not a sound and I revel momentarily in the novelty. Then…I fill the space. The kettle boiling. Music streaming. Someone is live on Facebook. Peace and quiet is an invitation to springboard into the next thing.
How long can you sit with silence? Most people find it hard.
In meditation instruction they call this the monkey mind, because our minds are always in motion, always curious, always trying to get our attention. Most of us don’t do much to train ourselves to rest. Particularly, we don’t place much value on resting our minds. When we say that we need rest, we really mean that we need recreation or sleep.
“Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations.
I will be exalted in the earth.”
Psalm 46:10 (WEB)
Even as a cradle Catholic, I had not heard of Eucharistic Adoration until I returned to the church last year. It’s Catholic meditation, where you adore Jesus in the form of the blessed Communion. The host is a little wafer mounted in a stately holder for the day. People can come and spend time with Him. Some people sit or kneel and pray. Others read devotional books.
Could You Not Watch with Me One Hour?:
How to Cultivate a Deeper Relationship with the Lord through Eucharistic Adoration
By Florian Racine / Ignatius Press
In the Eastern tradition of meditation and yoga you train your mind to let go of all the busyness. Imagine your mind is like a train station at Christmas time and the passengers are the thoughts. The goal is to usher those thoughts (passengers) on to their destinations so efficiently that it’s as if they weren’t even there. Through practice you can do it so effortlessly that your mind (the station) is still and you can experience peace, enlightenment, your true self.
In adoration we meet Jesus in the crowded station and He fills us up and comforts us, transforming our relationship with ourselves and others. Instead of working with the silence or filling it up with noise, in adoration I can fill it with Jesus and my conversation with Him.
In this quiet time of year, when we find ourselves still and before we hurry on to the next thing, let’s take a moment to sit with Jesus and allow him to fill us up with his presence.
This is my first post for The Zelie Group’s new link-up, “Getting To Know Us”. We invite you to write a blog post (or two!) or post on social media about what “Quiet” means to you during the month of January. Link up at the bottom of this post and use the hashtags #thezeliegroup, #tzg_quiet and #tzg_gettingtoknowus to connect with us.
Check out these titles (and more!) at Christianbook.com to learn more about Adoration and Christian meditation.
Eucharistic Adoration Coloring Book
By Katerine Sotnik / Ignatius Press
Into the Silent Land: A Guide to the Christian Practice of Contemplation
By Martin Laird / Oxford University Press