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Issue 14-10

The Practice of Silence

A remarkable missionary, Darlene Rose, who had been imprisoned on the island of Celebes during World War II, remarkably impacted my life. Not only was she a person of outstanding faith, she had seen God work under unimaginable circumstances. Actually kneeling before her executioner who raised a sword to behead her, she heard the words of Scripture whispered by the Holy Spirit. The words of this Scripture promised she would be delivered. And she was.

The story of Darlene Diebler Rose moved my soul, and in God’s great grace, she spent a week in our home. One of the great lessons she taught me was this: We take so much time talking to God that we don’t find any time to learn how to hear Him speak to us.

After that encounter with this remarkable woman, I began to set aside daily times of silence, listening times in which I would ask: What is it You have to speak to me today, Lord? I began to keep a prayer journal, to record my praises and my requests and the things I heard when I listened. I began to go away regularly, even with four children (or perhaps because of four children), for private retreats of silence.

I became convinced that no deep spiritual growth could occur in my life without the practice of silence that allows us to develop the capacity of holy listening.

Hungry Souls began offering retreats of silence ten years ago. Our 24-Hour Advent Retreat of Silence has regularly nurtured souls longing for un-harassed moments when they could meet with God. We developed a 3-Day Retreat of Silence and this year, for the first time, will offer—along with the traditional 24-Hour Advent Retreat of Silence—an 8-Hour Advent Retreat of Silence, for those who simply can’t get away for a full 24 hours.

Has there ever been a time in history when silence was needed more? When humans had to fight for places away from noise? When our souls shriveled from lack of hearing that Word of the Lord spoken to our hearts?

I strongly recommend that you start the church calendar year—which begins with Advent, the first week in December—by attending one of these two choices. The first is the annual 24-Hour Advent Retreat of Silence, led by Tiffany Stamen under the auspices of Breathing Space Ministries and is held at the Bishop Lane Retreat Center in Rockford, IL. This retreat will begin on Friday, December 6 and end on Saturday, December 7 in the late afternoon.

CLICK HERE for the Online Registration (fill out form online, send payment via PayPal) - OR
CLICK HERE for the PDF Registration Form (print, complete, and send via snail-mail along with check)

The second is the 8-Hour Advent Retreat of Silence (time: 9 am to 5 pm), held on two dates—Thursday, December 3, and for those who can’t make a weekday, on Saturday, December 5. This will be conducted by Karen Mains and Melissa Mains Timberlake in the barn-house at Turtle Creek Acres.

CLICK HERE for additional details and Online Registration (multiple payment options)

You can check out additional information with a few clicks, register online, and pay the retreat fees as well. We’ve tried to make this as user-friendly as possible.

Not enough time? Think of the love and kindness through the years feely given by so many retreat planners who have crowded their Thanksgiving celebrations, delayed their own Christmas decorating, added a little more to their own work or ministry schedules to provide these special occasions of quiet in order that others might begin to develop or continue to develop their practice of silence. We are in a world that, more than any other time in history, is filled with extraordinary noise. You can’t afford not to find the time.

Karen Mains


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Karen Mains

Karen Mains

"I became convinced that no deep spiritual growth could occur in my life without the practice of silence that allows us to develop the capacity of holy listening."

24-Hour Retreat of Silence
Friday, December 6 to Saturday, December 7

8-Hour Retreat of Silence
Thursday, December 3
Saturday, December 5
(9 am to 5 pm both dates)

Copyright 2006-2015 Mainstay Ministries. All rights reserved.

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