Sunday, March 11, 2012

She Blinded Me With Silence

She blinded me with silence. Yes , it's a play on a Thomas Dolby song that was a big hit when I was in Grade 10. For those of you who clicked expecting to read about an old flame giving me the silent treatment, this is not the column for it. This weekend did something many of you hoped would happen a long time ago. It shut me up. I knew that going in. I did not know why it was necessary but I had faith it was going to be a good thing.

I even joked that the one good thing about being silent is it was much easier to keep up the illusion that I was not a complete idiot. You know the expression , better to be silent and let people think you are an idiot than to open your mouth and leave them no doubt.

There is a saying that Silence is Golden. Well for one weekend and for one person I can say that this weekend and this place was Golden. You can read my blog and realize the many different places my attention goes to. This weekend was the most focused I have been on my faith in a while. Which giving my scatter brain M.O. May not be saying much but it's better than my usual mindset.

Last night we voluntarily turned our cell phones in. The next thing you know they might ask for my firearms too. The root of me being here was reluctantly accepting an invitation to "bible study" . Not that I don't have faith or have anything against it. You just have this inert apprehension that you may not fit in or care to fit in. Couple that with a full time job plus part time school for me then you start to really get protective of your free time. Well this was back in August I think. And I have been a regular member of The School Of The Word.

If you are cynical of spirituality, Catholicism or organized religion but are still reading, there is grace in that. Anyone can be cynical about organized religion but one thing you can never argue is the pure niceness of the people that things like this tend to attract. Maybe the meanies are still in here but they have their nice face on. If one is supposed to lead by example then I would like to think the people here put forth very good example in terms of respect , listening and sharing. That is not even counting the values that so called atheists ignore.

The fear of not fitting in , is normal. The thing is , in our group we have all ages. Somebody in grade school, somebody in high school, somebody recently started working, wives, mothers , single people and the group works. I learn from all of them.

Learning is only possible if one surrenders due to ignorance. The proud seldom learn. By voluntarily partaking in this exercise at some point all of us want to hear something , learn something. I liked what someone said last night (Luigi) of wanting to be a sponge. Just so happens one of the themes of the talk was water. If water is good for you then you need something like a sponge to get it. Not a stone . A stone that is full of pride with a tough exterior. Not wanting anything to make an impact on it. Wanting to do the impact itself. Leave it's mark on others and not designed to be impacted on. Just because it's silent , does not mean there is nothing to hear. It is silent here precisely because we should not miss what we could hear.

This school and this weekend could not be possible if it wasn't for passion. If not for passion the group would not spread the way it has, and I would never have been invited to go. If it wasn't for passion, I would not be attracted enough to come back a second time or a third time. As Rod Stewart sang back when he was not a complete sell out "everybody I know needs some passion. Some people are scared of passion. Some people die and kill for passion. No one admits they need passion" .

There were a lot of feelings and insight one can get from going into a place like this and with people as good and as caring as these people are. After all no one cares how much you know until they know how much you care. But just know that writing this is not meant to contain or summarize whatever I went through here. It is up to you, to say Yes to something similar one day. As Bobby Knight once said you have to get in position to get into position. This weekend was not just this weekend a result of lot of things I have said yes to in the past. It is about faith.

The exercise of the silent retreat did in fact keep me quiet for a little while . But I found that I have slightly more defined Voice because of it.

Ed (importance of silence)

verbum dei

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