Saturday, July 26, 2008

Peace & Quiet

I have been wanting to write something about silence for a long time, but have not had the opportunity. Then, the other day, while reading John Senior, I saw a line he had written about the "fullness of silence," or something similar. Then it really struck me that we in the world today have a very misguided sense of silence. For us, silence is the absence of noise, it is the bareness of sound, as it were. While this may be true in terms of sound, the silence of the soul practiced by the saints no longer exists. Modern culture fears silence, fears to be alone. It may be that they fear their own fears. They fear to confront themselves in the face of the infinite. One of the disturbing trends of the post-romantic movement in literature has been a simultaneous attachment to and revulsion regarding nothingness. Writers such as Baudalaire, Joyce, James, etc. all feared and were drawn to nothingness. In philosophy, this same relationship led to existentialism and despair ( a la Heidegger or Sartre). This attitude has filtered down into everyday life, and affects many Catholics today. But, silence is a fullness, it is an ordering of the soul. To do this we clearly must have our passions regulated by reason, and our reason turning toward the true good. If we need an image of silence, we can look to the Virgin Mary, or to St. Joseph, her spouse. Both lived lives of silence, of peace. In this we can see a profound connection between virginity/chastity and silence. Rather than a sterile nothingness, virginity, like peace, is rich and full of blessings. For me, this gives a whole new meaning to chastity, as well as the vows of virginity or celibacy made by consecrated religious or virgins. Such a state of life should clearly be one of silence, of freedom from distractions of worldly life. Instead, anyone living that state can turn to the mysteries of our Redemption, and as did the Virgin Mary, ponder them in his heart.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Life without a job

The ongoing dormition of this blog has finally stirred my guilty conscience and prompted me to once again leave an offering on the altar of blogdom. The problem is, simply put, that being unemployed takes up all of your time. I had more time when I was employed and busy, than I do when I am not. Perhaps that is an exaggeration, since I have been doing numerous odd-jobs, and have ailments not entirely conducive to movement. Be that as it may, regular posting appears the only way to both air my thoughts and organize them in a logical fashion. Since one cannot always find a like-minded person to speak with, I would suppose a blog is an opportunity to flesh out one's thoughts. That is my hope for this blog, with the added concern that they be thoughts, not merely opinion or feeling. Until next time, blogosphere, fairwell.