Finding a Quiet Place Sr. Monika

Have you ever longed for a place of utter quiet? I have. My ears pick up every little (or big) noise. It's a blessing and a curse to have the gift of accute hearing. Many days find me looking for silence--REAL silence. As I sip my morning coffee, enjoying the quiet ... oops, there goes the commercial refrigerator gearing up its cycle. Sigh. I go to my bedroom to sit in quiet, and ... oops, there goes the alarm clock my neighbor doesn't hear so it rings on and on. Sigh.

Sometimes in midday in my quest for quiet space, I become aware of a background noise ... oops ... my acute hearing picks up the freeway. We like the convenience of having I-5 close by, but a constant hum of traffic and occasional down shifting for those of us whose hearing is sensitive can be annoying. I try to think of it as a rushing river. Sometimes that works, sometimes not... Sigh. Can it be that the sisters here talk out loud in the halls while I'm trying to rest from my search for quiet? Yes. Sigh.

One day, as I was praying the Psalms at the liturgy of the hours, and struggling with the chapel noises (coughing, sniffling, pens clicking, papers shuffling, late-comers coming...sigh), I suddenly became aware of the noises in my head. Noises such as judgment or discontent, murmuring (and what does St. Benedict say about THAT), self righteousness, general grumbling. Wow. I was making a lot of noise in my head! Sigh. Something in the Psalms suggested that I quiet down interiorly.

As I quieted my own noisy mind the other noises receded, or I became better able to tolerate the noises that had bothered me. Either way I felt more at peace. Peace is really what I was seeking. Peace.

I can't fully imagine what it must be like in a war zone, but I know it is noisy with the sounds of air raid alarms, explosions, and deep grief. My reflection on the sounds of war leads me into prayer. I pray that peace return to troubled parts of Earth where people's lives are interrupted by unimaginable sounds. May the minds of leaders and decision makers become quiet enough to hear the cries of their suffering people. May their hearts be moved to make peace.




  • Comment posted by Janice J. Ariza on October 20, 2023 at 4:05PM (8 months ago)

    Yes, the deep internal peace we all crave is often so fleeting. The quiet around us can't always be the way we want it or even expect it to be, however, onyernal quiet can be! Thank you for sharing these honest, insightful thoughts.

  • Comment posted by Sr. Dorothy on October 20, 2023 at 2:11PM (8 months ago)

    Isn't it wonderful how our growth in self-awareness sort of sneaks up on us when we're not looking for it? I loved this piece, Sr. Monika. (smiles)

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