Members’ Reflections

Contributions from our members:

 Jim Doyle – My Experience with Contemplative Prayer:

Phil Farmer – My Experience with Service:

Natalya Shulgina – My Experience with the LCG Plan of Life:

Mark Hallahan – My Experience with Simplicity and Stability:

Allen Thyssen, My Experience with the Eucharist and the Liturgy of the Hours:

Bob Anderson – My Experience with Spiritual Reading:

Musings of an LCG’r on Silence by Bob Siegel
Bob was one of the founders of the LCG.  Sadly, he passed away in 2008.

These musing are the result of some interesting discussions that take place in the comfort of my own mind. The 3 participants we all know as ‘me, myself and I’, to which I suspect you all can relate.

This experience was one of those Ah-Ha moments and started with a dialogue that began as the 3 of us, me, myself, and I were on our way to Gethsemani with 3 others from our local LCG community. It was a pleasant drive and I was in the back seat listening to the conversation that was going on in the car and ‘I’’ had something to interject into the conversation and before he could speak ‘me’ had the thought “Does this need to be said” and ‘myself’ responded “not really” so we kept it to ourselves and the three of us realized that the conversation that was going on did not suffer in the least because of the lack of our great wisdom.

We were thinking about this and ‘myself’ popped up, “you know, one learns to be silent by being silent rather that talking about it or reading about it” he continued, “I remember we read that in Cummings’s book Monastic Practices”. ‘I’ chimed into to our three way conversation that it is interesting that we have been bombarded with the word silence over the last month or so in things we have read or heard, in scripture and in Lectio and just about anywhere else.

myself’ said yea your right, do you think God is trying to tell us something, to which ‘me’ replied yea, we should be quite and think about this. At the same time ‘I’ was mumbling, “well He had better speak louder if He wants us to hear because it’s to noisy in this guy’s mind”. After about a nanosecond ‘me’ said, you know we don’t listen to TV or radio that much, we turn the car radio off when we drive and we try to say out of noise as much as we can, so what’s the problem?. Then ‘myself’ said, “you know, maybe it’s like our friend Larry says, “Lord shut my lips and my mouth shall declare your praise”. ‘I’ said you know I just remembered something that I read from William of St. Thiery, “The atmosphere of silence is mainly internal, which is fostered by modes of human behavior”. Well with this ‘myself’ got all excited and the three of us started brain storming what were some of the human behaviors that were keeping us from this internal silence. What we came up with in part was that we were just to antsy when we were trying to experience silence, like needing to get the computer turned on so it would be ready when we were finished, or had to get up and move that paper off the desk, oops need to clean that window, or trim that candle, check for phone messages, get a cup of coffee etc. Ah that’s it the three of us chimed in at the same time, the lack of silence, has nothing to do with outside noise, it has to do with our own inner experience of busyness.

St. Bernard said “our life is an application of silence”, so we need to start by a very simple act of ‘closing doors softly’ and saying no, to thoughts that do not need to be processed at the present moment. ‘me’ added you know what our friend George says, “silence is attention and attention is prayer” So to you, our brothers and sisters we pray, that you will find the silence that is meant to be.