One of our assignments has been to spend an extensive amount of time in silence, suggested to be 36 hours. Due to deadlines at work and other obligations I haven’t been able to do this yet, but it reminds me of a formula for peace I heard about by Mother Teresa many years ago. It goes like this:
The fruit of silence is prayer.
The fruit of prayer is faith.
The fruit of faith is love.
The fruit of love is service.
And the fruit of service is peace.
Even though I haven’t been able to incorporate an extended period of silence into my life right now, I can use this simple formula even for the moment. It helps me to focus, and it also helps me to be more at peace.
An example recently is, when I was out to dinner with a friend, she was sharing and talking, and I found myself thinking about what I might say next and not really listening. I caught myself and silently prayed. I allowed myself to be in the silence of my own mind for a moment. I connected with the Lord and felt faith and love. And I was able to listen to my friend. To really listen. To not react. To not respond on my own tangent. And it truly was a moment of service, a moment of peace.
When I heard about Mother Teresa’s formula many, many years ago, I was not able to apply it to my life because I was too uncomfortable with the silence. I didn’t like myself very much at that point. I was insecure and, actually, a fairly angry person.
I’m so grateful to be able to be silent with myself, to be silent with the Lord, to hear Him speak, and to be enveloped by His love. There is freedom in the silence. Freedom and peace beyond all understanding.
To God be the glory. Amen.