Sister Carol Falkner, Director of Benedict Inn, Beech Grove, Indiana, shares these personal reflections on the Benedictine value of silence.
Silence elicits different responses from different people. Some love the thought of silence, others are frightened by it and still others think it is a waste of time. Actually, all three responses carry a truth about silence for us. Those who make time for silence as a prayer understand it to be a doorway to God and God’s will for them. They quiet their thoughts so as to better listen to God and God’s will for them. Those who are frightened by silence might realize that within silence one can be asked to face oneself and one’s motives. This can bring a call to conversion. Lastly, those who think silence a waste of time can easily be resisting that nudge from God to center, get in touch with one’s inner self which asks us to reach out to others in their time of need. Silence asks us to listen and listening requires us to be silent. Let me share with you the following poem to ponder: