I was reading an old text that recommends “silence in the heart.” Saint Diadochus of Photice, a bishop of the fifth century, said our minds should be like still waters. Then we can see the pollutants (temptations) and recognize “the fish” (grace).

Silence in the Heart

It sounds wonderful. Such great advice. But it seems impossible to achieve in this modern era, especially in busy houses with children. How is this possible?

Today, as I write this, for example, there was no school because snow enveloped the state of New Mexico. And the children had important projects to do which meant lots of questions. And the barnyard animals were struggling with the severe cold so we were going outside more often to bring them warm water. And I had  a big editing job due soon. And the living room was a mess because of all our projects. And the kids ate all day long so the sink was full of dishes…

And…And…And. You get the drift. Chaos reigns.

Silence would be wonderful. But I don’t suppose Saint Diadochus meant it would be easy to achieve. In fact, he says we need the assistance of the Holy Spirit and a persevering nature.

So here is my plan to still the waters of my soul. For whatever it’s worth, maybe it will help someone else.

  1. Discipline. Getting up just a bit earlier means there is time for quiet prayer.
  2. Repetition. It’s possible to repeat simple prayers over and over to drive away the distracting thoughts and temptations. “Jesus, Mary and Joseph, help us.”
  3. Holy Spirit Help. The Holy Spirit comes into our hearts with a simple invitation.
  4. St. Michael Help. St. Michael drove Satan out of heaven. He is a good protector.
  5. Breathe. Breathing puts us back in our bodies and helps achieve stillness.
  6. Study. Reading the Bible or other spiritual material opens the heart to long for Jesus.
  7. Pray. It’s like a corridor to heaven!

Come Holy Spirit. Into the troubled waters of my soul you come. Bring silence.  Help me to calm my mind so there is room for You.

What helps you to find silence in the midst of busyness?

Copyright 2013 Judith Costello