As a Catholic millennial woman residing amidst the hustle and bustle of everyday life, I frequently encounter the challenge of perceiving the voice of God in the middle of all of the cacophony. In truth, on certain days, it feels as though the resounding melodies of a rock concert are blaring in my ears, and I am incessantly bombarded by the ceaseless media frenzy on the constant topics favored by the news played on constant repeat.
There is an incredible amount of dissonance that engulfs us as we go about living our lives. How can we as members of the laity living in the world have tranquility within our inner sanctuary when our daily lives are filled with constant noise?
Our solution to such a dilemma lies in prayer, and spending time alone with God, especially in the presence of our Eucharistic Lord. We can look to our Blessed Mother who always pondered all in her heart. Our Lady was a true contemplative who deeply reflected on all things. When we sit before the Blessed Sacrament in adoration of our Lord, Jesus Christ, and gaze upon His Eucharistic Face we can know that it was Mary who was the first adorer of our Lord. We can understand that prayer serves as an intimate dialogue, a profound exchange of affection between the Divine and humanity. It is in the silence that we can converse to God and ponder all things in our heart in the same way that Mary did as we see in various passages of Sacred Scripture, such as in Luke 2:15-19:
When the angels went away from them to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go, then, to Bethlehem to see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.”
So they went in haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger.
When they saw this, they made known the message that had been told them about this child.
All who heard it were amazed by what had been told them by the shepherds.
And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart.
Words are not a prerequisite for intimate conversation with God. It is through silent prayer that we find comfort, as resting in Him allows the clamor of the world to disappear, leaving only Christ at the innermost depths of our hearts. Like Our Lady, we can invite Christ to establish a permanent dwelling within our hearts, where His Love radiates from within our very core, enabling us to relish the sweetness of His closeness.
The pursuit of holiness is a calling for all of us in any state of life, irrespective of whether we are ministerial priests or members of the consecrated life. Attaining perfect union with God is our ultimate goal, and it is necessary to prepare our hearts to wholeheartedly welcome Him at all times. By eliminating the discord that echoes deep within our souls, we create space for God, that which should only be for Him. Mary was completely filled with the Love of God, and we should strive to increase our love for God as much as possible in our humanity despite our fallen human nature.
Devoting time to conversing with the Lord in prayer, especially in Eucharistic Adoration is the most effective way that we can maintain the serenity within us. The Catechism of the Catholic Church shares a quote by Pope St. John Paul II:
The Church and the world have a great need for Eucharistic worship. Jesus awaits us in this sacrament of love. Let us not refuse the time to go to meet him in adoration, in contemplation full of faith, and open to making amends for the serious offenses and crimes of the world. Let our adoration never cease. (1380)
When our hearts become like a sanctuary, then this quietude bestows an everlasting peace and tranquility, even amidst the chaos and upheaval of the world. It is in this sacred space that Jesus and our souls embrace, becoming more and more entwined within an eternal love story.