The Reason for Ears: Part II—Noise & Silence

bulldogCatholic-blog-silence

We don’t always listen to music, though I definitely wish that we did. This means that our ears hear other things. Some can be good, while others can be bad. It’s good to be aware of both.

If you haven’t read the first part (the music part) of this blog, you can find it here.

A Sea of Unpleasantness

Neighbors mowing the lawn, traffic in the city, a television on in a diner, literally any bar on a Friday night; these are all very noisy things. Noise is defined as a sound, especially one that is loud or unpleasant or that causes disturbance. It is all around us and most of the time we don’t notice it. This is not a good thing.

C.S. Lewis describes noise in the Screwtape Letters from the point of view of a demon talking to another demon. It goes like this:

“How thankful we should be that ever since Our Father entered Hell… no square inch of infernal space and no moment of infernal time has been surrendered… but all has been occupied by Noise – Noise, the grand dynamism, the audible expression of all that is exultant, ruthless, and virile—Noise which alone defends us from silly qualms, despairing scruples and impossible desires. We will make the whole universe a noise in the end. We have already made great strides in this direction as regards the Earth.”

This is crazy to think about. There is a war going on around us; a war for our souls. Demons are using noise to overflow our ears and drown out the love that God is trying to tell us. Don’t let yourself be caught up in this sea of unpleasantness. Notice the noise around you. Even if you simply draw your attention to it, you are foiling the demons’ plan. Demons love it when their works go unnoticed, because they can then lead you further and further off the path to Heaven and closer and closer to Hell. Try and replace the noise in your life with music—or even something better…

Silence-The complete absence of sound.

When you can take away all the noise and get to someplace truly quiet, something amazing happens: you can think clearly. Ever wonder why it takes so long to fall asleep sometimes? For me, my mind is always racing right as I go to bed, and that’s because it is finally quiet and I’m not distracted.

When we think clearly, we can figure out what to do about all of the important issues in our lives. This is also why churches are kept quiet (along with because it is reverent). When you go to a place to pray, you want to be able to think clearly so you can listen to what God is trying to tell you, so it should be quiet.

Silence is also very powerful. Common adjectives for silence that I have heard/read are deafening, suffocating, and oppressive. These are all very strong action terms. It’s as if you can almost feel God’s presence more acutely in silence, as if His presence is surrounding you, as if you couldn’t tell before because the noise of the world got in the way before.

Nature is also a great place to find silence. Go out camping this summer and see if you notice any difference in how you think and how much noise is around you. Camping is also a great way to see if you are addicted to anything that is of the world. See if you can survive a couple of days without technology (I could go on and on enough for another blog… maybe some other time). You will learn a lot about yourself in a short amount of time.

I encourage you to change the music that you listen to for the better, notice the noise, and eliminate it by going and saying hi to Jesus in the tabernacle. Glorify God by your ears, and listen to His unending love for you.

I’m praying for you always

-Matt Muhich