I might have given a wrong impression about silence generally in my post on prayer! When i said i loathe silence, I was really talking about imposed silence from those who tell us that its the only way to pray. Silence is a good thing, and (I repeat) the older I get the more I appreciate it!
So thanks to those who have commented on my prayer posting, short and sweet from all blog spots, a very thoughtful response from sushil, encouragement from reformed cynic Tom, and wisdom (as always) from Quilly. I should also say thanks to those of you who have commented recently who I've not responded to, often its because I can't think of anything to say that I don't seem to respond, but I appreciate the responses and it does make me think! I don't always come out of the other end of the comments book with the same perspective I went in with! So thank you Dr John, Sank, Andrew, Nick, The Old Fart and others who I will now feel bad for missing.
I think its worth saying that although busy, I'm not the frenetic type. Apart from the fact that my body morphology (not sure quite what that means, but i read it in a newspaper) is the slow and steady type, my personality is relatively laid back. I agree with sushil that constant stimulation and busy-ness dehumanises, but I am not sure that this is a contemporary phenomenon, but more of a part of the human condition. As a person and as a priest I take time to be with God, to be with others and to be with myself, much as the third one can feel like boring company sometimes! I believe it is important to create space in our lives, but I don't think that this space needs to be quiet all of the time, and often my prayer life contains activity as well as stillness. Distraction is more of an issue for me, as i drift off, and singing as I pray, or playing my guitar to aid meditation and worship is one way in which i can keep my heart and mind set on God, enjoying the feeling of music and sound as part of my expression of prayer. Admittedly I don't think many would share in the idea that this is greatly inspirational if they heard me play and/or sing, but it works for me.
I love the quote which Tom gave 'even the desire to pray is a gift from God'. For me, the stillness and silence I need from time to time is a gift too, but then so is the noise and the activity. God is good, God lets me, no wants me, to be myself, and when I am truly myself I will be on the way to becoming Christ-like. But that's probably a subject for another post.