so many people want to connect with something bigger than themselves, but they often don’t want to put the time in that it takes. in my life, i have most often felt connected to the wider world when i shut everything off, go out on my own, and listen to the silence. people, especially of my generation, want to be able to tweet all the time, catch up on the latest episode of gossip girl, go shopping for a new outfit, update their tumblr and facebook, constantly listen to spotify, and still be able to somehow transcend the day to day monotony. hate to break it to you twentysomething, but that isn’t how the world works. in order to truly focus on something you have to be able to let go of everything else. granted, this is nowhere near as easy as it seems.

in fact, since i returned to the united states in december i haven’t had any kind of transcendent state. it was amazing when i was in greece, i had so much time on my own on secluded hikes to empty beaches or byzantine chapels that it was really easy to forget the world around me and merely focus on the silence. here in the states, though, there is always something to distract me: new episodes of being human, facebook, twitter, homework at school, looking into seminaries, helping to plan the model UN conference, trying to figure out work for this summer, yoga, constant laundry, keeping up with the family, friends who want to hang out, etc.

during the rest of lent i challenge you to go outside your daily activities and find someplace new where you are inspired to listen to the silence. you may just hear something.