Abbot Tryphon: The Spiritual Need for Silence in the Information Era

"With families gathering around the radio, often listening to shows or music that were far from edifying, the loss for the human spirit was great. . ."

Great and Holy Lent is seen by most as the forty days before Pascha when we give up certain foods (dairy, meat, eggs, fish), and give more attention to alms giving. The season of the Great Fast is also a time when we try to cut back on entertainment, avoiding movies, nights out with friends, and replace worldly pleasures with increased time attending the divine services in the temple.

Lent is also the time when we increase our spiritual reading, consulting with our priest, or the proprietor of our local Orthodox bookstore, for suggestions on books to accompany our Lenten journey.

I would like to suggest another element, one that is important, but seldom talked about. During the forty days of the Great Fast, why not put aside the “noise” of this world, and discover the value of silence.

When radio was first introduced on the American scene, an important element in daily living was to be lost forever. No longer was silence a part of everyday life. With families gathering around the radio, often listening to shows or music that were far from edifying, the loss for the human spirit was great.

As we've entered the "information age", we are experiencing even more noise, for not only do we have televisions blaring from the moment we walk in our homes, youtube has introduced noise in an even more invasive manner, noise on command at any time. Ipods fill our waking moments with music, and even when we are on walks, these gadgets are shutting out the sounds of nature. Birds chirping, the sound of wind in the trees, the lapping of waves on the beach, these wonderful sounds of nature are all replaced with recorded music.

The Psalmist David tells us, “Be still, and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10)." Silence to the noise of this world opens our ears to the whispers of the Lord, Who speaks to us from within. Silence should not be feared, but sought out, and embraced as though a lover.

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon


PRAYER REQUEST: I saw my cardiologist on Tuesday, and it seems I once again have an abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia) characterized by rapid and irregular beating of the atrial chambers of the heart.rate. It is likely the combination of exhaustion and stress that has taxed my heart, and brought me back into atrial fibrillation. I therefore ask that you keep this old monk in your prayers.




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