Have you ever noticed going through periods of silence? One of inner quietude, rather than not speaking.
I have learned that my interior life goes through seasons: times when my thoughts are clear and vibrant; when prayer is lush and fruitful; when God is not only near but His voice is clearly discernible, whether I’m reading scripture or a novel, spending time with friends, watching a movie, or walking in the woods.
There are other times of utter emptiness, when my creativity has dried up, and spiritually I am wandering the desert. There is no sense of God’s presence, no consolation. St. John of the Cross speaks of the Dark Night, which ironically is a help to spiritual growth and a sign of God’s favour, but sometimes these periods of utter nothingness are mere aridity, possibly brought on by my own lack of cooperation with grace.
Somewhere in the middle of the two states, is one of silence. When in a period of inner quiet, even my thoughts are mute. I haven’t become an empty-headed fool -- I am functioning as normal, and I know that I am processing thoughts, but the thoughts have sunk below the surface and I cannot tap into them. I read scripture without connecting; there are no flashes of inspiration or insight from conversations or reading; prayer is not arduous but it doesn’t feel alive. Though I still know God is close, I haven’t the lovely consolation of feeling Him.
When I come out of this, I will have reached a conclusion about something I’ve been wrestling with lately, or had an insight into something I’ve been wondering about. There will be relief of knowing that something was going on in my brain afterall, gratitude for the result, and joy to have it behind me once more.
Does this sound familiar? Have you ever experienced this sort of thing yourself?