What is the Gift?
When the angel Gabriel comes to Zechariah to announce he was to have a son in his old age he asks, “how can I know this?” In answer he is made mute because he did not believe Gabriel’s words (see Luke 1:8-20). This imposed silence is also a gift. It is through this experience that Zechariah learns to ponder and meditate in a much deeper way than before. Like Mary, he ponders things in his heart (see Luke 1:29 and Luke 2:19). When he is given the opportunity to speak again, he is filled with the Holy Spirit and gives a beautiful prophecy about his son and the long-awaited Messiah.
Zechariah writes down his son’s name. From Fresco Cappella Tornabuoni, Florence [Public Domain]
I believe that to grow deeper in faith, to be ever-more sensitive to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, we need to have silence. In our noise-driven world we are desperate for stillness and the peace that flows from it. To live as authentically Catholic persons we must strive to embrace those moments of silence strewn throughout our hectic days.
I hope that you may find inspiration to be silent and in the stillness hear the Holy Spirit as God draws you ever closer to union with Him!