Advent Retreat Week One: Seeking Silence
Welcome to the SundayMonday’s Advent Retreat! I’m so glad that you are here.
Leading up to this Advent, I wasn’t sure if a retreat was in the cards. It’s been a crazy year, filled with so much change, many new experiences, and full schedules. Approaching this Christmas and this Advent, all I knew is that I wanted (needed) a break. I wanted (needed) to slow down a bit and create some space for prayer and reflection before Christmas. I didn’t want to be sprinting to the finish line. I dream of arriving at Christmas rested, restored, and ready to receive Jesus with an open and peaceful heart.
And that’s the goal of this retreat: to encourage all of us to make a little space this Advent, to make this Advent different. And I invite you into it, to invite your friends and family to join us in these weekly reflections as we prepare for Christmas.
So let’s start with silence.
The enemy has many tools for distraction, confusion, anxiety, and overwhelm – and chief among them is noise. The world is noisy. Living in New York these past few months, I’ve been shocked at the constant commotion and hubbub. This Thanksgiving, I went to visit with a friend’s family in Connecticut and the silence I heard walking through the woods and at night was almost eerie, because it’s almost completely foreign to me now.
Silence is so important. It’s in the silence that we hear the Lord speak to us. It’s in the silence that we can check in with our emotions and our hearts. In silence, we’re invited to be fully present with our Creator. So it makes sense that our world is filled up with noise: the pings and rings and snaps and beeps hold us back from focusing and really letting God work in us.
Do you feel the weight of the noise? If so, you’re not alone. During this first week of Advent, I invite all of us to identify the noise in our lives, and to commit to creating space and silence. I like practical steps, so here they are:
- Identify the biggest source of noise in your life (ex: Netflix, Instagram, Facebook, walking around all the time with AirPods, playing music all day, always being on the phone, etc.)
- Cut them out (or down) for Advent.
- Set aside a minimum of 10 minutes (set a timer!) and invite Jesus into that silence at least once a day.
- In the silence, offer up a prayer (Jesus, I offer you this day and this silence, and I invite you to speak into my heart)
- Use other times of silence throughout the day to read spiritual reading, scripture, the Magnificat, newsletters, and other books that bring you closer to God.
We have so much more control over the noise we let in than we realize. This first week of Advent, join me in cutting out the noise and allowing the peace and love and rest of our Lord flood our hearts and souls.
I’ll see you next week for our second week of reflections! Happy silence-seeking!
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Jane was born in Australia, raised in California, and is overjoyed to now call NYC home. She graduated from UCSB with degrees in Political Science and Communication and spent the past two years working in criminal justice reform. She is currently an MBA student at NYU Stern, focusing on entrepreneurship and strategy.