As I began working on some of my Doctor of Ministry assignments I kept getting drawn back to my experience at the Abbey of Gesthemani. The experience was a diffcult experience because we had to remain silent while on certain areas of the grounds. There were a variety of signs around remind us that “silence is spoken here” and “silence on this walkway”. This was a very difficult experience for me, because it is hard to remain in silence and even to not remain in a constant busy state. Now do not get me wrong, the monks are constantly working throughout the Abbey in a variety of different ways. It was finding the ability to shut out the world outside of the Abbey for me and focus on communicating with God within a silent atmosphere.
During the time I explored the grounds and felt drawn to areas like the stations of the cross and the sanctuary. I loved the sanctuary and its unique simplicity in design. I just felt a great sense of peace during my time at the Abbey. I dd not realize what I brought back from that experience until today as I was reading through the book of Psalms. I realized that my appreciation and love for silence and solitude had grown. I think we try to stay busy to keep ourselves focused on things we might not want to focus on, but through that experience of silence and solitude we gain so much. I feel so much more at peace with this new found love for shutting out the busy world even just for a few hours, because through that time I am able to gain so much. I am able to draw closer to God.
It is easier said than done to experience that peace in a busy and hectic world. But boy, when you are there its amazing what God can do with you during that time.