This time of year we especially long for peace. In the noise and mad rush of this season, a word that I associate with peace is silence. In truth, silence and peace go hand in hand. A friend of mine spoke of how Mother Teresa encouraged the practice of silence to gain deeper peace. Mother Teresa said: We must learn not only the silence of the mouth, but also the silence of the heart, of the eyes, of the ears and of the mind, which I call the five silences. Say it and memorize it on your five fingers.” Sounds like a good suggestion! Silence of the mouth will allow me to listen to others, and learn to hear their needs. It will allow me to listen to God. Silence of the ears will allow me to remove the noise of this world, and hear the silent voice of God within. Silence of the eyes will allow the eyes of faith to see God. And God will come to us and be in us, and we in God. Silence of the mind will dismiss the anxious thoughts and worries that can drive a person from God. Silence of the heart will allow our restless hearts to rest in God.
But to practice silence, we must pray. Mother Teresa offered the following during her lifetime: “We need to find God and He cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is a friend of silence. The more we engage in silent prayer, the more we can give in our active life. The essential thing is not what we say but what God says to us and what He says through us. Even if my mouth is closed, with my eyes I can talk to you for a whole half hour. Looking at your eyes I can tell whether there is peace in your heart or not. We see people radiating joy, and in their eyes you can see purity. If we want our minds to have silence, keep a silence of the eyes. Use your two eyes to help you to pray better.” So this season, if we want peace, we need to pray and practice silence. From Bethlehem, a newborn baby cries, “Be still and know that I am God.”