We have an addiction to noise! Though very difficult to admit, let’s be honest and face it, you and I are addicted to noise. It’s incredibly difficult to spend an hour in the car without dialing up a friend or turning on the radio. And at home, we bombard ourselves with count- less mediums of noise. Have you ever found the television blaring in the family room while music is playing in one kid’s room while in the other a gaming system is filled with battle the same time you are talking on the phone with a friend? Or perhaps you are like me and you find it difficult to be anywhere with out your close companion, the iPhone. Our reality is such that our lives are filled to overflowing with noise and distractions. And if we pay close attention, we see our tendency to fill life’s moments with music, television, emails, texts, the Internet and conversation rather than sitting quietly in a place of unhurried silence.

So, I urge you this Great Lent to ask yourself: How is the noise of my life drowning out the voice of God?

Too often, we are too hurried to spend time alone with God. Many folks have called this quiet time or alone with God, while others may consider it devotional time. Regardless, it is very important that these sacred times of prayer and reflection include the rhythms of silence and solitude. In silence, we quiet both the external and internal noises in order that we can be fully present to Christ. And in solitude, we intentionally separate ourselves from others so that we might be attentive to God. Isn’t it true that our fear of being alone drives us towards more activity and noise? So when we are still and engage in silence and solitude, we learn what it means to be a human being rather than be a human doing.

Christ lived out these rhythms, regularly seeking a solitary place where He could be alone with the Father. Amid His earthly ministry of teaching, healing, performing miracles and making disciples, Jesus modeled a life of silence and solitude. (See Mathew 4:1-11, Mark 1:35, Luke 6:12, Matthew14:23, Luke 5:16 and Matthew 17:1-9) And we too, are invited to follow His example this Great Lent, which begins on Monday, March 2, 2020.

The discipline of silence and solitude will open the door to an even deeper relationship with Christ. So, I invite you this Great lent to spend some time unhurried, uncluttered, spacious time with Christ. Leave behind any agenda or hopes of discovering some marvelous strategy for fixing your life. Simply sit quietly and alone sitting with the Holy Spirit. Listen carefully for the tender, loving and calming voice. If your mind wanders say the Jesus prayer (Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God have mercy on me). Embrace fully all that God desires to do in you and trough you as you sit quietly and patiently, for 10 minutes or so each day during Great Lent and Holy Week.

+Rev Christopher P. Foustoukos, Presiding Priest

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