"Come apart by yourselves into a desert place, and rest a while:" - Mark 6:31

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A Retreat of Silence

A Reteat of Silence is a spiritual discipline retreat. It may not seem interesting to a people person until you realize how much people crowd our the Savior. I came across the Reteat of Silence accidentally while doing my own prayer retreat at a Catholic Retreat. That week happened to be their Reteat of Silence. People paid about $350 for the week to be taught 2 lessons a day by a priest who trained them in spiritual disciplines. They attended the early morning and evening sessions with him and listened but did not speak. A mealtime the priest, who was fasting, read them stories of great Marinol Missionaries. No one spoke.

The idea of the retreat is to speak to no one but God for the entire time. I learned much about the discipline of silence during that trip. It was a wonderful experience to speak only with the Lord for my few-day retreat. I admired the discipline and commitment of these people to take an entire vacation with God!

We live in a tumultuous, noisy society. There is hardly a place on earth where you can go without hearing traffic or air traffic. Then there are all the intruding human noises added to that. Add to that the din of human conversations and we wonder - "Where can we find God." Someone often tells me that they cannot hear God speak or they question why God is not speaking to them anymore. My answer usually is the story of Elijah fleeing to the wilderness and there encountering God in "the still small voice." My friend, God is speaking but he cannot be heard for all the other noises of our hearts, minds, and lives.

I've often thought that I would like to try a retreat of silence in a cabin in the woods far from the busy pace of life as we know it and see how it would affect my life. For those who have tried the retreat of silence (of whatever duration they choose) it always leaves them longing for more - not more silence, but more of God's whisper.