Finding Peace through Silence

By Viola Brown

A Reflection on the Silent Retreat

Pulling up to a building, described by College Chaplain Liz Candido as “being like the Sound of Music with nuns coming out to sing,” I was kind of nervous about what I was about to embark on. I’ve never been silent for a whole day and doing it with nuns whom I haven’t met before terrified me.

By going on the Silent Retreat organized by the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life on February 6-7, I learned that I’m able to stay silent for a whole day without going completely insane.

Going with a group of 10 women, who are different in terms of beliefs, ages and backgrounds, I was able to sort out some thoughts that have been going around in my head for a while. Being at the Transformations Spirituality Center, (a ministry of the Sisters of the Congregation of St. Joseph) I was able to find some type of inner peace through silence.

When people asked me why I wanted to go on this retreat, I didn’t really have a specific reason. I guess I was doing it for fun, for the challenge of trying to stay silent for a whole day; there weren’t any spiritual or religious reasons. [I’ve always had a weird religion when it came onto me and my religion (REM pun).] I was raised Catholic and though I do believe there is a God, I’ve always believed that there has to be something more to guide our lives. I’m not exactly sure what is, but I think there is something higher than religion.

Being a college student, (especially a K student) I’m constantly busy. Whether it is homework, going to class, extra-curriculars, socializing or trying to make time for family, I have a lot on my mind. This includes personal baggage like insecurities, secret wants, and desires, which, too, are always in my head. Having time to reflect on life either through journaling, creating art or spiritual reading, I was able to get rid of some “inner noise”.

I couldn’t get rid of all the noise completely, but getting rid of most of it made me finally able to relax. I was able to finally realize that I should be grateful for the life that I have, even though I’m not completely happy with it. I learned that I should have faith in others, as well as myself.

I won’t say the retreat was bad because I wasn’t able to achieve complete harmony; I don’t blame the retreat for this because I have my own personal demons that I have to get over. In fact, I would recommend a retreat like this for anyone and everyone.

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