“Be still and know that I am God.” Ps. 46:11
I opened the homily at a high school mass by asking the youth what pressures they faced. A senior girl in the front row said, “What pressures don’t we face?” I thought her response was very provocative. Yes, life is full of pressure. Perhaps the greatest pressure we face is trying to find meaning through producing, performing and attaining. We can be so caught up in the doing. It is as if we have bought a bill of goods that says we will come to happiness through the active life.
Surely, who we are and where we are going are the burning questions of our existence. However, with pressures hitting us left and right we can quickly lose sight of who we are and what life is all about. There is so much pressure to do and not be. We must remember that we are much more than human doings, we are human beings. But as long as we only do, it is difficult to be in the comforting knowledge of the Father’s love. As long as we are running hard on the treadmill of life we can be blinded to the fact that we belong to God in an eternal bond of love. How do we come to know who we are and where we are going? What is the remedy to the dizziness of our doings? SILENCE.
It is in silence that the deepest words of love are spoken to the heart. Without silence we cannot hear the Father speaking to each one of us personally. And what does the Father say? You are my beloved. You are my daughter. You are my son. You belong to me.
In his book,The Sign of Jonas,Thomas Merton writes, “Those who cannot be alone cannot find their true being and they are always something less than themselves.” Pressures to always do something can rob us from the fact that we are loved tenderly and relentlessly. And it is His love that defines how we are to live out our existence. It is in and through silence that we will proudly claim that we are children of the Father. We come to know who we are in silence. Let us not settle for being something less than who are—children of a Father who celebrates us forever. May we seek God in silence—it is probably the most practical thing we can do for the welfare of our families and ourselves.