In our current day, the world constantly seeks to bombard us with noise. We often listen to music, the radio; we regularly watch TV and YouTube, and yet, what does it do for us? What purpose does the noise serve? It serves as a distraction from hearing the voice of God in our hearts. And when we cannot hear the voice of God, what happens?: We fall into sin. As Fr. George Rutler put it in Adam Danced: The Cross and the Seven Deadly Sins, “There is a hearing crisis...The soul can drug itself into deafness.” (16) How then can we hear the voice of God? The answer: silence.
Silence is where Heart speaks to heart. The Bible tells us that the prophet Elijah did not hear God in the wind, earthquake, or fire - the noises of the world - but in a “still small voice.” (1 Kings 19:12) Thus, God cannot be heard in the noise of the world; He can only be heard in the silence of our hearts. The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us that, “Contemplative prayer is silence, the 'symbol of the world to come' or 'silent love.' Words in this kind of prayer are not speeches; they are like kindling that feeds the fire of love. In this silence, unbearable to the 'outer' man, the Father speaks to us his incarnate Word, who suffered, died, and rose; in this silence, the Spirit of adoption enables us to share in the prayer of Jesus.” (CCC 2717)
Robert Cardinal Sarah says in his book, The Power of Silence, that “Our world no longer hears God because it is constantly speaking, at a devastating speed and volume, in order to say nothing.” (56) And later he states “In silence, there is a collaboration between man and God. The depth of the human soul is God's house.”(58) It is in silence that we allow God to speak to us, to tell us what He wants us to do. It is in silence when He consoles us. St. Augustine is a prime example for us. He succumbed to the temptations of the world and as he says to God in his Confessions, “You called and shouted and burst my deafness.” God can burst through our deafness only if there is silence in our lives.
What are some of the best ways to practice silence in this world of noise? One way, and I believe the best way, is the Holy Hour. All you need to do is find a perpetual adoration chapel near you and simply spend an hour in the silent Eucharistic Presence of God. Adoration in silence is the greatest act of worship we can offer to God aside from the Mass. If you do not have time for a full hour try fifteen minutes or half an hour. It is important to remember not to do all of the talking when at adoration. Simply go and listen in the silence of your heart to what He is saying to you.