Catholic Vitamin Q: Quiet

Madonna House in Canada

Today’s Catholic Vitamins Podcast and these Blog notes are devoted to the only place where we can find… really find God: in  peace and QUIET.

We were  blessed to get time with Kathy McVady, the house director for the Winslow, AZ Madonna House. It’s a beautiful, simple place of service to the people of God found in this north central Arizona area. There are Poustinia (Russian for desert) rooms at this Arizona and in other Madonna Houses. And about the word Poustinia — read on and listen to this show.

Do you remember the song by the Eagles called Standing On The Corner in Winslow, AZ? This is the place. A town bypassed by the interstate; a town mostly passed by the railroads and changes in economics. Winslow – the heart of methamphetamine distribution for most all of the western United States. Winslow — with sad problems of alcoholism and cancer and other problems of related to poverty.

And yet, on the south side in Winslow there is Madonna House. Six ladies who spend much time in prayer. Six ladies who attend Mass daily, and also spend time in adoration most every day. Six ladies who go into Poustinia: peace and quiet. Poustinia: a Russian word meaning desert. Poustinia — a word which means only in this Quiet am I found. Only in quiet will you find answers. Only in quiet will you find hope.

And it is the prayer and adoration, the quiet and the formation of Madonna House that helps the ladies bring love and hope and the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd to the residents of this old Route 66 southwest town.

Please join us for this Catholic Vitamins. Listen to Kathy McVady teach us about the life and spirituality of Catherine Doherty and of Madonna House. Listen to the quiet in Kathy’s voice – and yet it speaks loudly of what we Americans truly need to connect with God at other than a superficial level.

Our music for this show includes a wonderful Catholic songwriter and musician: Billie Tarascio – an Arizona Catholic wife and mother and lawyer. One of her songs that we played was LAY IT DOWN – a song written by Billie and here is what she says about this song, “During adoration, this song helps in my emptying of myself so that I may stand fully present before the Lord.” That’s it, Billie. That’s where we find Our Lord Jesus — in that Quiet where it is just His Majesty and my brokenness.

There is a book: Padre Pio’s Spiritual Direction for Every Day. In it are found these words:  “Peace is a simplicity of spirit, serenity of mind, quietness of soul, and the bond of love. Peace is the order, the harmony within us. It is the continuous contentment that comes from the testimony of a clear conscience. It is the holy joy of a heart in which God reigns.”

Deacon Tom’s Podcast Reflection on QUIET

Dear Friends — I get up every morning at just past six AM. I’ve done this for a decade, perhaps more. I will grab a cup of freshly brewed coffee and usually sit in quiet before starting my morning prayer. Dee isn’t awake during this period — it’s often just Holly our dog and me. She nestles up close to me and I guess she enjoys the quiet as well.

Sometimes my mind starts racing — sometimes I’m just in God’s Quiet holy presence. I worry about our one daughter who lives the go, go, go life of a single mom and fairly high up manager. I worry about mothers and fathers I’ve never met who are caught up in this same sort of situation. When, if ever is there quiet in their lives?

And when is there ever quiet in the lives of our children? I’m aware of families where kids come out from bed to sit on the couch and watch morning cartoons as they begin to wake up… sometimes they sit there watching TV while eating morning breakfast snacks or cereal.

What’s it like in your home? Or in the home of your grandchildren?

While I believe in quiet time spent with no agenda other than seeking Christ — there are some other approaches to Quieting our lives. For example, I fond the following thoughts From the website Catholic Success Dot Com… These words on quiet:

We all need quiet time in our day when we can just be with our own thoughts. This isn’t daydreaming. The serenity of quiet time can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. It can be traditional meditation, or walking the Stations of the Cross, gardening, reading Scripture, making a pot of tea or taking a long, hot shower. You may wish to say the Rosary.

Each day, take twenty minutes to stop, reflect and enjoy being who you are. Think about the past, present, future or nothing in particular. Relax by yourself and you will feel renewed. Tranquillity will re-energize you. Without trying, you will be amazed at how your subconscious mind releases so many good ideas. As you reflect upon the true sense for your existence, you can better deal with hardships.

Just as the time you spend exercising strengthens the physical you, quiet reflection strengthens the spiritual you. Quiet time also gives you the opportunity to practice minding your own business. Take a deep breath and continue to breathe slowly and steadily. Look around. Use all your senses. You will find contentment in the solitude; just ask a monk.

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