How silently, how silently
The wondrous gift is given!
So God imparts to human hearts
The blessings of His heaven.
No ear may hear His coming,
But in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive him still,
The dear Christ enters in
How silently, how silently do the most profound changes occur. Think of those moments of silence after prayer that settle on the heart, like soft feathers in a nest, and leave one feeling lighter and more at peace. Imagine a comfortable silence shared with a close friend, a silence of companionship that brings love and closeness. Sometimes silence is equated with nothingness, however I disagree. Silence carries with it a rare harmony that can be found by those who, oddly enough, dare to listen.
There is a theory, although likely a frivolous one, that the universe composes its own music that plays continuously throughout the day (I imagine harps and flutes, but you can really imagine anything). The theory proposes that we are so accustomed to this instrumental that it is drowned out by the uninterrupted sounds around us (car horns, people talking, the running thoughts in our heads). At times I like to go along with this theory and try to search for the hidden music it promises. A silent hill between classes is my amphitheater of choice. I take a front-row seat on a chair of velvet grass, breathe in the cool orchestral air, and listen for the melody the silence brings. I like to pray as my eyes flutter shut and I enjoy, in all of its silence and mysterious noise, the wondrous gift of life.
Perhaps you are running late to class and are reading this on your phone. Maybe you find yourself surrounded by suitemates or in the middle of a club meeting. Out of the hundreds of ways you could be spending the weeks leading up to midterms, I would like to suggest one approach that I promise is free, relaxing, and sure to bring you closer to God: silence. Find a silent spot to breathe and pray. Take time to reflect on how God imparts on human hearts / The blessings of His heaven. What do these blessings look like to you in this second semester (and throughout the year)?
Step away from the hustle and bustle of each day to search for His heavenly music. It plays the loudest in the silence and touches even the most hardened heartstrings. No ear may hear his coming, so do not strain yourself too hard. At times the most enjoyable music is that which you least expect to hear. In this world of sin, go to Him. Receive him in the silence and, as you do, the dear Christ enters in.
– Valentina Guerrero, PC ’19
Adapted from a YFA Christmas Devotional