Mother Teresa and Silence

By Archbishop Henry D’Souza

February 2005

Priest are wounded healers. We are in the helping profession. People come to us for their needs. We are symbols of hope, of grace, of comfort. The good shepherd is a role we are called to play. But in our shepherding we ourselves need support and grace. We need strength to stay on route. Each one of us carries our own limitations and problems. Silence is a way to improve our shepherding.

Mother Teresa tells us that silence is so necessary:

1. Souls of prayer are souls of great silence.
2. We need to find God and He cannot be found in noise and restlessness.
3. God is the friend of silence. His language is “Be still and know that I am God” (Ps 46/10)
4. He requires us to be silent to discover Him. In the silence of the heart God speaks...
5. We need silence to be alone with God, to speak to Him, to listen to Him, to ponder his words deep in our hearts.
6. We need to be alone with God in silence, to be renewed and to be transformed.
7. Jesus is always waiting for us in silence. In that silence He will listen to us, there He will speak to our soul and there we will hear His voice.
8. Have we learnt the art of silence? If you do not know silence, you do not know to pray.
9. The interior silence is very difficult but we must make efforts to pray. In silence we will find new energy and true unity.
10. The above quotations of Mother Teresa tell us about the great value of silence in a life of a priest. He begins to listen and to hear what the Lord is telling him. The Beginning of all intimacy with Jesus is silence.

Hence we need to pray:

Slow me down Lord,
Ease the pounding of my heart by quieting my mind.
Steady my hurried pace with the vision of the eternal reach of time,

Break the tensions of my nerves and muscles with the soothing music

of the singing streams that live in my memory.
Help me to know the magical restoring power of sleep.
Teach me the art of taking minute vacations -

of slowing down to look at a flower, to chat with a friend, to pat a dog,

to read a few lines from a good book.
Slow me down Lord and inspire me to send my roots

deep into the soil of life’s enduring values,

that I may grow towards the stars of greater destiny.

(Jill Harris)