Forced Stillness

Jesuit Volunteer Grace Ogihara was forced into stillness because of neck and back pain one weekend. She writes: Though I otherwise would’ve been outside traipsing about Minnesota wilderness, I recognized my weekend being injured as sacred and precious time I wouldn’t have had otherwise. I’m counting it as a blessing after the fact. It was like God was literally making me be still, so that I might know Him better, just like the verse, “Be […]

More Stillness

What if, instead of more action, what we need is more stillness? What if, instead of more speech, we need more silence? What if all of our words—whether spoken, in an article, blog post, or group message—will make more sense if understood by attending to the Word underneath all words, the Word that gives rise to language itself? Could it be that paying more attention to silence might actually make us more attentive to one […]

Business Article Encourages Quiet Time

The title of a recent Harvard Business Review article says much: “The Busier You Are, the More You Need Quiet Time.” While this is hardly a new idea, it’s one that seems to need repeating in our tech-driven, overscheduled age. When we’re constantly fixated on the verbal agenda—what to say next, what to write next, what to tweet next—it’s tough to make room for truly different perspectives or radically new ideas. It’s hard to drop […]

Three Ways to Cultivate a Retreat State of Mind

Every year, when autumn rolls around, I want to go on retreat. Maybe it’s the smell of the autumn leaves clothed in brilliance, dancing down to earth, or maybe it’s the crisp air and waning light. Autumn is a feast for the senses, and God’s handiwork is apparent everywhere. Yet, every year without fail, autumn proves a time too busy to get away, even for a weekend. School has just begun, sports are in full […]

Time and Space for Silence

Shemaiah Gonzalez appreciates “The Gift of Silence in the Morning.” But it’s difficult to sit still. It’s not just my body that wants to move, to twitch and shift; it’s my mind too. I think of to-do lists and my schedule until finally I give in to the utter gift of a quiet space. I ask God to remind me of what is true and good. Read the full reflection at Busted Halo. Whether you […]

Breathing in the Silence

I found myself this morning reflecting on an experience that occurred a few years ago during a Charis retreat. It was a Friday night in March, and I stepped outside the chapel into the cool air during a period of sacred silence. As the doors of the chapel closed behind me, I caught a glimpse again of the 30 young adults who were in total silence and prayer. The silence came with me as I took […]

The Power of Silent Prayer

For years I’ve been trying to master the art of silent prayer. Sometimes my attempts find me staring at my shoes, thinking about the work I need to be doing. Other times, when I approach prayer with an open heart, I can feel my life, attitude, and perspective changing with every second I keep my eyes closed. Silence is difficult. It’s confusing. What, exactly, is supposed to happen while sitting for long, potentially awkward periods […]

The Soul Doesn’t Respond to Agendas

When you’re feeling overwhelmed by a to-do list, consider these thoughts from Emily Freeman, writing at (in)courage: There is without question a lot to do. But there is also an invisible world that lives inside our bodies, the inner world of the soul. And this world won’t show up in your newsfeed, it won’t get a headline on the evening news, and it won’t push a notification to your phone. This inner world needs our […]

Praying in Silence

Grace Urbanski from the Apostleship of Prayer shares three ideas for praying in silence, especially with children: Timed prayer Secret good deeds Listening If you’re receiving this via e-mail, click through to watch the video Praying in Silence.

Reclaiming Sabbath

With only a few weeks of Lent remaining, I want to offer a suggestion for our faith journeys that will carry us beyond Lent: reclaiming Sabbath. Despite the promise of technology to make us more efficient and give us more free time, we are busier than ever, and it is becoming more of a challenge to disengage and find time for rest, renewal, silence, quiet, and time simply to be with God. Not only have […]

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