Why Silence is the First Step Toward Peace

Silence is powerful, but it’s often difficult to find in our noisy world. And when we do have some moments of silence, it can make us uncomfortable, or even afraid. So why should we seek out silence in our lives, and how can we overcome the obstacles that keep us from experiencing the love and peace of God?

Fr. Matthew Spencer, OSJ, host of St. Joseph’s Workshop stopped by The Inner Life® to talk about silence and why it is a key component to living a more peaceful, happy life.

He started by quoting St. Teresa of Culcutta, who said, ‘The fruit of silence is prayer, the fruit of prayer is faith, the fruit of faith is love, the fruit of love is service, the fruit of service is peace.’

“Every single one of us would love peace in our lives,” Fr. Matthew said. “Every single one of us wants peace, and that’s why silence is so important, because it leads us into an authentic fulfillment of who we are called to be as human being – in relationship to God, our Father, serving Him. And that’s ultimately where we find our peace.”

Father Matthew shared his experience of entering the seminary and for the first time observing the Great Silence every night. After Night Prayer everyone in the seminary observes silence until the morning, which Fr. Matthew said was a practice that took some getting used to.

“That was very hard to adjust to, as a young man entering the seminary,” he admitted. “I felt very uncomfortable. I was alone with my thoughts, and that was a difficult thing to experience. So this is important in our life, to realize that the reason silence is difficult is because we’re not used to it. We live in a world that says we constantly have to be filling our ears and our minds with noise.”

“We all try to distract ourselves from looking at who we are, because we don’t always like what we see,” he continued. “But when we practice silence, we start to realize that God looks at us with great love. And even when we’re uncomfortable with where we’re at – with the sins we’ve committed, with the different habits we’ve allowed to enter into our life – silence allows us to realize that God still loves us. God still sees us with great mercy, tenderness, and compassion, and wants us to enter more deeply into a relationship with Him.”

So often we find it difficult to hear the voice of God in our lives. This is why silence is so powerful – it allows us to know both God and our own hearts better, in order to become the people we were created to be.

“I think silence, on the one hand, allows us to hear God’s voice better,” said Fr. Matthew. “On the other hand, it allows us to listen to our own hearts better as well. And sometimes we need that to cut through the noise, and the lies that the Evil One will plant in our hearts.”

Listen to the full conversation below:

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