by Revd Owen Williams, Curate
According to The Tremeloes in 1967, “Silence is Golden”. The origin of this phrase has much earlier roots, of course, but its sentiment stretches back for all eternity. There is something wonderful about silence.
And yet it seems in our modem existence that silence is more and more difficult to come by. I know on a personal basis that with three primary aged children finding quiet, let alone silence, is next to impossible. Plus there are other gadgets, such as mobile phones, computers, games consoles, TVs, MP3 players, radios all of which vie for our attention every waking moment of the day. And although this is what I’m used to (being an eighties child), and is in some ways a comfort to me (having a background in computing), it feels like society is gradually filling up with more and more noise, hich part of me wishes to escape from.
So it was with a mixture of excitement and apprehension that I went on a Quiet Day at Launde Abbey recently. If you have been to Launde you will know it is a beautiful house situated at the bottom of a picturesque valley, a few miles west of Oakham. Not only is it a peaceful setting in itself, but the geography also means that there is no mobile phone reception there, resulting in much less distraction all round!
I must say that I found the quiet day incredibly helpful. We started with a thought provoking talk, leading into about an hour of silence, followed by midday prayers. Then we had lunch together in silence (I don’t think this is always the case), and then we were given another challenging talk before going back into silence again for another hour or so. The day was finished with Communion together.
To me, the times of silence were just long enough to allow some meaningful periods of reflection without feeling like time was dragging, and the setting, helped by fine weather that day, brought me to a place of real peace as I wandered in the grounds.
I have now booked on to the next two quiet days and intend to make them a regular part of my prayer life.
If you are finding life a little too noisy, perhaps spending some time at Launde, or even attending one of their quiet days yourself, might be of benefit to you. We have such a wonderful resource in Launde Abbey right on our door step. I want to encourage you to make the most of it just as I intend to do.
I wish you a peaceful and blessed summer.