Last week was one of those weeks. It was hectic at work. The chores were accumulating at home and the grass was rapidly approaching “amber waves of grain” status. Family obligations were piling up. To top it off, there seemed to be more work than usual in the two online courses that I am taking.
The glimmer of hope was that there was a rare activity-free Saturday waiting at the end of the week. I could have used that time to catch up on some work, but I didn’t. JoAnn had a series of commitments, so I set off on a solo road trip to do some grocery shopping and to find some silence.
The silence was found in the awe-inspiring beauty of the Basilica of Saints Cyril and Methodius, which is described by the Sisters of Saints Cyril and Methodius, as “a dwelling place for God.” The motherhouse’s “chapel” was completed nearly 80 years ago on the grounds of Villa Sacred Heart in Danville. with the donations of thousands of Slovak Americans
The details and overall effect of this magnificent sanctuary are too much to absorb even in hours of contemplation. The sisters’ website mentions the “travertine marble of the walls, the tiles of the vaulted ceilings, the terrazzo floors, the marble of altar and baldachino, the fine oak pews, the life-size mosaics of Cyril and Methodius, the precious metals of tabernacle, central crucifix, and sanctuary lamp, and the white sculpted symbols of faith” among other details.
In the silence of the darkened basilica, my eyes, heart and soul were drawn to the center tabernacle which, as a Catholic, I believe contains the real presence of Christ.
The basilica was, as the sisters’ website simply states, “a place to ‘be still and know’ (Psalm 46:11) – to listen in quiet and peace” to God in the stillness of my heart. The cares and concerns of daily life evaporated in that prayerful silence and I emerged into the noontime sun refreshed by prayer and reenergized to face the challenges of life.
God dwells in the silence of our heart.