Testimony of a hermit nun
After years of experience it has become clear to me what inner silence really is. And this I have found in Sacred Scripture, in the Holy Fathers, and especially in St. John of the Cross.
Outer silence, simply not speaking, is a rule of conduct for order, for respecting others, for not disturbing. Inner Silence is not just not speaking.
But what is inner silence?
You are God's house from your baptism, He dwells in you (John 14) "we will come to him and dwell in him. The Acts of the Apostles tell us: "in God we live and move and exist" (17,28).
For me, hermit, inner silence is a double mandate and a requirement of life. To live in the presence of the Lord, inner silence is the atmosphere I breathe whether I pray, eat or work.
Inner silence is not living alone, in isolation. No, this is not possible because God has made us in community and in solidarity with all men and women. We hermits are also in this solidarity.
True inner silence is to be, to remain in the presence of God, in dialogue with Him, or in contemplative silence, without words.
Inner silence is a very personal struggle, an intimate, continuous effort with your self. You are invaded by inner noise, discussions and dialogues with yourself, obsessions, worries about yourself, about what is yours, about the present and the future. Memories of the past invade you, curiosity, worries that come from the unconscious.
Don't criticise the difficulties of your life, don't dwell on your sorrows and sacrifices. All this happens within you and agitates and disturbs you. Peace of heart is not possible in this way, it is not possible to live in inner silence.
That is why, in addition to the combat, you have to build inner peace, the basis of silence. In the presence of God, in pure faith, in spite of your weakness, listen to God, and also listen to your brother, your sister. To listen you need to be silent. Listen to everyone, even to those you don't like, even to your enemies.
Listen, maybe not only to their words, but also to their silences, their sufferings. Look, observe the moment they are going through. But without judging, listening like this is prayer.
When listening to news, to events, don't just think about what has happened. Listen also to this: what does God mean? He is in history, today, and therefore he is in what has happened. See how one can look at his mystery and transcendence, in pure faith.
Trusting silence in the anxieties that threaten and poison existence, the insecurity that takes away the peace of the heart. Trust and live in the hands of the Father who loves you, He is faithful and loyal. He began the good work in you and will carry it through to the end. Biblical, absolute trust that is incompatible with obsessions and worries of all kinds.
Don't argue inwardly with yourself, don't argue with anyone... it doesn't solve things. Don't grieve over your weaknesses, powerlessness, moral miseries. Be humble.
May Holy Mary, Mother of Jesus, the Virgin of silence and of the hidden life, intercede for you, entrust yourself to her, may she implore her Son to grant you the gift of being silent on the outside and on the inside. A silence that is fruitful for others, that radiates God to all your brothers and sisters, even if they do not see you or know you.
Do what is in your power and live in peace. The Holy Spirit "soul of your soul" will transform you in his own way, wait for him!
Live in faith, trust, live in peace, live in the hands of God your Father who loves you and who is within you (John 14).
Wrap us, Mother, in the mantle of your silence,
and communicate to us the strength of your Faith,
the height of your Hope,
and the depth of your Love.