The Rhythm of Silence and Solitude
by Mark Votava
Silence and solitude is so mysterious because it brings me into an awareness of my interior life. The interior life is real, but unseen. It defines who I am and reveals my true self to me constantly.
Sometimes I do not know who I am. What I have, what I do and what people say about me often times create an identity in me that is of the false self. This is not who I am. There is something more to me than this.
My practice of seeking God through silence and solitude helps me to grow in the wisdom and truth about who I am. I come to see my body as a reservoir of wisdom, compassion and love. The duality of the sacred and secular is broken apart and I start to learn that all of life is sacred. This sacredness of life paradigm shapes everything I do.
I become more alive than ever before. I become a lot more free to be myself. I embrace the serenity of life to accept the things I cannot change, change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.
- Jesus went to a mountainside
“Jesus went out to a mountainside… and spent the night…” (Luke 6:12).
- Silence and solitude was normal for Christ
Christ spent the night on a mountainside. A night probably consists of at least six to eight hours. This kind of silence and solitude was normal for Christ. He saw it as essential for his context.
- Part of Christ’s rhythm in life
This was a part of his rhythm in life. He found the depth of his humanity more as he practiced this kind of silence and solitude. Have we ever given God our complete attention in silence and solitude like this?
- The wonder that the authentic life contains
Marcia Ford says, “Silence inspires awe when it diverts my attention away from the chatter in my head and toward the wonder that the rest of life – the authentic life – contains.”
- Developing a practice of seeking God
This is the call of the mystical imagination in the place we live. We need to develop a practice of seeking God in silence and solitude.
- Taking time to be silent
Mother Teresa writes, “We all must take the time to be silent…”
- Saving us from dysfunction in everyday day life
We will never experience the depth of our humanity if we do not give this kind of attention to our communion with God. We might think this is asking too much, but I would say that this is the radical nature of following Christ in our local community. Our practice of silence and solitude will save us from dysfunction in everyday life. Christ is calling us into the depth of our humanity through silence and solitude.
What is your experience with silence and solitude?