"Just remaining quietly in the presence of God, listening to Him, being attentive to Him, requires a lot of courage and know-how." -Thomas Merton
A lot of people I have spoken with lately have expressed frustration about their difficulty to sense God's presence in their lives. Most of them are not new to the pursuit of the spiritual life, yet they have noticed a certain hollowness in study, music, church gatherings and in their prayers. Some of them wonder if they are doing something wrong or losing their faith.
From my own past wanderings through spiritual noise and numbness, I have found that for me there is really no substitute for contemplative silence before God. The readings of Merton and the book, "The Cloud of Unknowing" were helpful to me in learning how to practice this kind of silence. It's always a practice because as Merton implies, it's not an easy thing, yet how rewarding. If the typical ways you experience God's presence seem to be drying up, you are not failing. God just might be inviting you into silence.