As we got out of the car I felt different. For the past couple of months my soul had been aching. I had been longing for something that was missing. For the past several years I felt I was groping in the dark. It was easy to hide this groping because those around me were groping to. We don’t always talk about it, in fact, it is rarely that we even acknowledge it. Like two people passing one asking “How are you doing”, the other answering “just find thanks” we simply continue on our way without thinking about the answer, or the question. So, we fill our lives and our souls with projects, programs, and possessions that help us take our mind off the real issues within our spirits. We turn, or rather run, away from John Wesley’s question, “How goes it with your soul.” It could be that we don’t understand the question. It sounds like a different language to us. It might be that we don’t know how to respond to the question. We have become so good at allowing the noise of life to crowd us that we are no longer comfortable with the silence it takes to answer such a question. All around us sounds abound. Of course there are times we take to get away, to leave the noise to others, to find a place to think and reflect, but those times are rare. We have been unable to cultivate a sense of silence and wonder into our everyday life. So, as we pulled up to the convent things ‘felt’ different. I can’t explain it. It was as if a puzzle piece was moved and finally everything fit. The flurry (activity, not ice cream) of my life was replaced with a familiar, yet far away friend. Sister Magdalene showed us around the facilities. There were rooms with beds and showers. There were meeting rooms. There was a library and even a bookstore. Perhaps the most impressive item there was silence. The rooms looked a lot like hotel rooms. Yet, there was one vital difference. There was not a TV or a Telephone in any of the rooms. The difference between these rooms and those in a hotel was simply that silence was expected. People were there not to get away from life, rather, people came there enter into life. It isn’t the silence that takes us away from our lives, it is the silence that helps us to enter into our lives. Our true lives. As we got out of the car, even though I had left home, I was in fact coming back home. Home to where my Father was waiting. Home to the Open Arms. Home to the robe of acceptance and the ring of belonging. The noise was gone. In the silence I heard the Father of Life. In the silence of letting go of the noise, I discovered the one thing, the only thing that I needed.