Breaking Into Silence

Surging Into Prayer

Beach Photo: Kelley Mooneyham

Photo: Kelley Mooneyham 



“The heart can think of no devotion

greater than being shore to ocean”

– Robert Frost



What if a wave had no place to release

and let go of the momentum

and energy it absorbs from a tumultuous sea?


Ever present

waiting to receive

All that’s ready to be released

from a sea

of currents, chaos and calm

the shore faithfully waits..

for an arrival..


A listless lap or breaking surge

All arrive in sure faith

of being received

breathless and exhausted

Seeking rest from a long journey.


The Gospels of Mark, Matthew and Luke

tell the story of Jesus calming a storm at sea:


“A great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat,

so that the boat was being swamped.

But Jesus was asleep and they woke him up

and said to him,

“Do you not care that we are perishing?”

He woke up and rebuked the wind

and said to the sea,

“Peace! Be still!”

Then the wind ceased and there was a dead calm.

He said to them,

“Why are you afraid?

 Have you no faith?”

(Mk 37-40)


Faith requires trust..

An unwavering trust

that someone will be there..

When you need to let go..

surrender, release and turn over

all you’re carrying..

from the storms that are gathering

and raging around

and within you.


In the silence, Jesus hears

the overwhelmed cries

accelerating stress, worry and fear..

and calms the emotional storms

simply by saying:


“Peace, Be Still”

In other words..

“I’ve got this”


We can’t think our way to peace..

We can’t reason our way to letting go..


We can however place ourselves

intentionally before the Spirit of God

and release our chaos, grief, fear

and unknowing..

onto a faithful shore

of Love and Strength.


The challenges and heartaches in life

rarely disappear immediately..

if ever..

and we often experience waves of emotion 

that can change moment by moment.


When we let our hearts surge into honest prayer

the very act of trusting

that someone

will be there to listen and receive

your heart breaking into the Silence,

will awaken the Sacred listener and friend

who is ever present..

and always ready to absorb the energy

you need to release..

while sending peace and strength 

into the places of fear and worry.


A Sacred shore simply provides a place to rest for a time..

to release

to renew

and receive all you need..

to sail back out

into a tumultuous sea.


“Sometimes the most important thing in a whole day is the rest we take between two deep breaths, or the turning inwards in prayer for five short minutes.”

– Etty Hillesum

Chris Donovan

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© Chris Donovan

Chris Donovan is a frequent speaker on Scripture and Spirituality. She holds a Master of Theology (Th.M.) and a Post-Master's Certificate in Spiritual Formation from Boston College School of Theology and Ministry, as well as a Master of Theological Studies (M.T.S.) from Weston Jesuit School of Theology. Chris is an associate member of the Catholic Biblical Association and of the Carmelite Contemplative Community of Reno, Nevada.