The prophetic words, “silence like a cancer grows,” are found in the haunting lyrics of the song “The Sounds Of Silence” by Simon and Garfunkel. Notice that the word “sounds” as used in the song title is plural? How many sounds does silence make? Asked differently, how many voices do we hear when we are silent? Today I want to write about a very strange paradox. God once used the silence of a retreat to warn me about the danger of silence. Strange isn’t it? In its dangerous form, silence is like a cancer. Today I will pass the warning on to you. Read more…
My life was forever changed in 2011 when I took time to spend eight days in silence with God. The following paragraph is written at the bottom of each week’s 4th Day Letter:
“Brian, a lifelong Catholic, felt his life was forever changed when God spoke to his heart while attending an eight day silent Christian retreat in November of 2011. Soon after that retreat Brian founded 4th Day Letters and Broken Door Ministries.”
Allow me to borrow again from the song’s lyrics, with my own slight adaptation, to describe my retreat experience:
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was weeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Warn all people
About the sounds of silence
The following paragraph was excerpted from one of my earliest letters, written on November 22, 2011:
“No human words can explain the experience I just had during my eight day silent retreat. I wish there was some way with today’s technological capabilities to capture and express how on fire my heart is for the love of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Over these past six years, I have written extensively about our wounded and broken human condition. It is not the fact that we are wounded and broken that is so dangerous. The real danger is that we are unwilling to seek help by telling others about our wounds and brokenness. Pride keeps us silent, and our silence gives a deeper meaning to the song’s lyrics: “Hello darkness, my old friend, I’ve come to talk with you again.”
It really doesn’t matter whether our wounds and brokenness were caused by others, by unfortunate circumstances of life or by our own sins. As a rule, most people out of shame, pride or embarrassment, prefer to keep silent about the real things that are troubling them. We live in a world where, “In restless dreams we walked alone.” We struggle to communicate on the important matters of life. People are “talking without speaking” and they are “hearing without listening.”
I was one of those people, and for 42 years I had held my struggles in total silence. That was, until God spoke to my heart on that retreat. His message was essentially this: “Fool said He, You do not know, silence like a cancer grows.” I heard this message in my heart. “Brian you can’t be healed if you don’t tell someone you are broken.” Essentially His reassuring words were these: “Hear my words that I might teach you” and “take my arms that I might reach you.” And with His promptings Broken Door Ministries was born.
Over these past six years I have attempted to reach Christians all over the world with my weekly messages and I have been blessed to lead retreats and give talks all around the United States. I have personally witnessed the life changing response people have had to the message that God has written on my heart. Upon hearing the retreat’s message, many people often break their lifelong silence and reveal their inner wounds to me, and their healing begins.
“St. Peter’s Parish in Rosendale, NY was greatly blessed with a retreat given by Brian Pusateri of Broken Door Ministry. The retreat was truly a moment of grace for all. I am very happy to support such a mission. I would recommend it to other parishes.”- Father Ed Burke
“Brian opens himself to all and helped us see that our brokenness isn’t a deterrent to God’s love and healing. Our retreat was truly a special day.”- Maryann Becker
I have committed myself to answer God’s call and to spend the remainder of my life sharing the important message He gave me with as many people as possible. Dear friends, silence, as it pertains to holding our struggles inside, is a cancer.
I have a personal request to make. I am asking every reader to consider inviting me to your church, parish or Christian gathering to share this important message. Would you please speak to whoever is in charge of retreats and bringing in speakers and ask them to invite me to come and spend time with your group. There is no fee! I know the Holy Spirit is changing the lives of those who hear this message. This is one thing that you don’t want to remain silent about.
Father, you both speak to us in silence and warn us about the dangers of silence. Inspire me to take action. Help me to spread this message with others who desperately need to hear it. Amen!
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