There are many religious orders in Catholicism that practice silence on a daily basis, and lots of them do this during mealtimes. It promotes prayerfulness, which in turn helps with being grateful and appreciative as you eat. With the silence comes more time to eat, which is perfect for holy meditation.
We all can practice silent mealtime, no matter how old we are, or where we eat. Whether it’s in the car, at school, or even at your desk at work, turning off your radio, and being still will amplify your spiritual life with God.
Here are some helpful tips for staying silent in a chaotic setting:
- Let others know what you’re doing, and why. This way, they’ll be less likely to interrupt your prayerful mealtimes, and won’t barge into your quiet space loudly.
- Make a ‘do not interrupt’ sign or doorhanger with the words “don’t ask me questions; I’m eating in silence!” on it. This works especially well if you eat in a room that has a door, but not as good if you’re out in the open or are in the car.
- If you’re interrupted, don’t give in. Don’t talk, just show them your sign. Later on, explain to them what you’re doing, and they’ll probably respect it and just come back to you after your meal.
- Make a list of things you’re thankful for while you eat. When you’re finished, thank god for them through prayer. Then write list of things you wish other people had: coats, house, good friends; just something that you want to help others have. Pray that God shows you how to help, and in the meantime, ask God to protect those people.
- Go into your bedroom to eat if you can. That’s usually a very quiet place, and stirs up calm memories of falling asleep and getting ready for bed. You can also try other places, like your backyard, a park, or even the benches outside of your work. Wherever you go, stay silent.
- Don’t get online, listen to the radio, or do anything that involves noise for a good half hour. That should be enough time for you to eat and pray, but extend it if you need to. Just keep everything nice and quiet.
- Let God guide you. He’ll put things in your heart, so listen and pray for those things.
The best part of this is that you can do it everyday, three times a day. Keep practicing, and you’ll be eating in silence in no time!