Shhh

The quiet scares me ‘cause it screams the truth. – P!nk, “Sober”

It was late at night, and the rest of my family was asleep. For some reason, I found myself kneeling in the middle of my living room before two dimly lit statues of Jesus and Mary. I don’t remember why I was there or what I was praying. Something within me wanted to kneel there all night; but my head was heavy and my knees were numb (“the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak”). Before I could stand up, something was suddenly different. The quiet of the night was magnified, and pressed down upon my ears with an unexpected force. It’s almost as if silence was more than the absence of sound, but the presence of…something else. It terrified me.

For a little while, the silence wouldn’t go away. I had the strangest feeling that I wasn’t alone; that I was about to be attacked. Looking back, I’m wondering what caused such feelings: was God trying to make me more aware of the existence of evil in my life? The need for protection? Or was I so insanely afraid of absolute silence that I would think of any excuse to escape it? Maybe it was a bit of both: maybe I feared the wrong thing.

No silence, it seems, is called golden or even good anymore. The result is self-imposed noise pollution. We fill our minds with predictable sitcoms and fill up silence with any kind of sound (all too often, our own voices). In grade 10, I had trouble sleeping at my friend’s house because she insisted on keeping the radio on all night. I couldn’t sleep with it; she couldn’t sleep without it. Why?

This is where my good friend Pink steps in. Her lyrics (quoted above) truly resonate within me. I am afraid of the silence because it “screams” the Truth. Sometimes, when I make bad decisions, my conscience begins to chastise me. I’m terrified that the logic slowly trickling through the grey matter between my ears might actually cause me to think about death and consequences and scary, important things like my soul. So, I distract myself with fiction and vice. I turn up the dance beats to drown out my heartbeat.

Herein lies the problem: in our society, we care so much about the stuff we put into our bodies and, yet, we have absolutely no regard for the things we put into our minds. Can we not recognize the effect that sights, sounds, and ideas can have on every level of our health? Could we become spiritually obese from all the faulty logic we choke down while just trying to be polite? We demand more for our bodies, so why don’t we heighten our standards when it comes to feeding our souls? Let us not gorge ourselves on fads that expired yesterday. Jesus is ready and waiting to give us the Bread of Life, Who will sustain our entire being for eternity. I challenge you, I challenge me: for fifteen minutes a day, be still, and let God be God. Let’s see where the silence takes us, if we’re brave enough to find it.

Tick. Tick. Tick.
Click. Click. Click.

You watch time as it scrolls up before you
like the credits to Star Wars, you stare
Fixated.
Like.
You’re in a trance.
Like.
You don’t know what else to do with your hands.

Click-tick.
The time goes on, there’s no ‘backspace’
once you post it, you passed it, a habit,
and you don’t even see how much time.

tick. tick. tick.
you drown out
the sounds with loud music
abuse it
you’ll lose it
if you listen to your

own
heart-
beat.

‘Cause every time
when it finds me
it reminds me
the song will end
in unending sil-ence.

Click-Tick-Click-Tick-Click-Tick-

STOP.
ever wonder why
you’re so lonely?
feelin’ phoney?
though your status up-date
has a happy face?

ever wonder why
you feel so vexed
you can’t connect
though your new adapter
goes in anyplace?

I’ll tell you why
pause for a sec-
let me see your eyes
stop hiding behind your Bieber cut
these days make kids keep their mouths open
and their eyes shut.

All they know
is the taste
and it’s great.

They don’t care
if Mamma’s there
crying for her child
if She’s ex-iled,
all neglected and abused
knowing full well the outcome
we continue to choose
to see with our eyes and not our faith.
to look at each other’s bodies,
but not each other’s face

we’re afraid
of what we can’t see
what we can’t explain
and our very heart beat

Beat.
Beat.
Beat.

Copyright © 2016 Catholic Insight Magazine. All rights reserved.   |   Developed by [w-i] in association with TrueMedia   |   Subscribe RSS