From Season of Promises
Radio is a machine producing absolute verbal noise. The content hardly matters any longer; the production of noise is the main concern. It is as though words were being ground down by radio, transformed into an amorphous mass. (Max Picard, The World of Silence)
Listen. Do you want to know a secret? Doo-dah-doo. Closer. Let me whisper in your ear. Here it is. Advent is a quiet season, but everywhere we go we are surrounded by noises, music, words flying through the air, pummeling our ears constantly. Often, we become dependent on the noises, music, and words produced by electronic devices. We get jumpy and nervous if we don’t have them. We get so we can’t cope with quiet. Put the average person in a quiet room and after fifteen minutes he or she will become nervous and agitated. Some folks can’t drive around in a car without turning on the radio. Others can’t fall asleep at night unless they have a radio or recorded music playing nearby.
We don’t listen to the words, music, noises that fly at us all the time from radio, television sets turned on but not watched, “background music” in stores, elevators, shopping malls. We don’t listen to the words, music, and miscellaneous noises produced by a noisy world. They are simply there driving away the quiet.
But Advent is a quiet season, a quiet season of waiting patiently in expectation of a Wondrous Event. But how can wonder grow if there is no quiet? The shepherds waited quietly in the fields. The magi traveled quietly. Joseph and Mary waited quietly, as did the animals in the stable. Where can we find some quiet in our Advent?
Lord of Advent, help me to cultivate a quiet heart so you may be born there anew on Christmas. Amen.