I recently received a post from the always challenging and informative blog entitled Catholicism Pure and Simple. It features a short film by the Benedictine monk Abbot Christopher Jamison, O.S.B.
In this film Fr. Jamison speaks about silence and how critical it is for our well being. He mentions that its cultivation is a necessary prerequisite for certain types of prayer. The good news is that we can begin the process of cultivating silence by setting aside at least five minutes but no more than thirty minutes during the day. During that time we participate in an ancient Christian technique of developing awareness of our breathing, the silence that is within us, and the need to enter into this type of prayer in order to hear the still, quiet voice, of God. I’ll have more about this ancient Christian prayer technique in future posts.
Finding silence is especially important for the sacred artist. Sacred artists must prepare themselves prior to picking up the tools of their art and creating a sacred image. They accomplish this through the cultivation of prayer throughout the creative process. The disciplines of silence, fasting in its various forms, and repentance for sins are important components of the Christian artistic and soul journey.
What is especially helpful about this ten minute film is that Fr. Jamison and a parishioner demonstrate the process of cultivating silence through an actual short period of silent relaxation and spiritual meditation. It is a simple yet profound moment that demonstrates how easily you can connect with the rhythms of your body and soul, and in the process, develop your prayer life with the Lord, His angels, and saints. This film is not only necessary viewing for the sacred artist but for all who are interested in a mature relationship with God.