Note from Sarah: John recently reached out to me on on Twitter and it’s been really great getting to know him. We are kindred spirits in this generation of millennials  I wanted to share with y’all this poignant post about the importance of silence in our busy busy lives. John Canale is young, Catholic voice with much to offer. Be sure to give him a follow on Twitter.


So every day I pretty much stick to the same routine.

I wake up at around 6:30, walk to the train station, and take an hour trip to the city for work, at which time I take my fully-charged iPhone and plug in my super comfortable headphones and just listen to my iTunes playlist.

I know, the famous iTunes playlist.

It’s the one I’ve always talked about, the same playlist that has gotten me through studying all night in grad school, the one that has served as a substitute to watching television, the playlist that I use whenever I decide to take over a party and play guest DJ.

My playlist has become my best friend over the years. I’ve built up an impressive 710 songs ranging from Ed Sheeran to Nicki Minaj to The Supremes and even instrumental songs that help me focus whenever I sit down to blog.

My whole day is pretty much filled with song-hopping, from the time on the train, to the time on the ride home, shuffling, skipping songs, repeating my favorites, and so on.

I only recently realized how afraid I am of the silence.

I’m afraid of the moment when my iPhone goes dead, runs out of battery, and I am left to myself.

On the ride home from a great Bible study tonight called Organic, I instantly plugged in the GPS directions, and then proceeded to pick out my song for the ride home.

I made it a couple of blocks and then I turned it off. It made me realize that I’ve been slowly shutting God out of my life one song at a time.

I am so afraid of the silence, of what He might be telling me, things that I am running from in my life. It’s an easier thing to press “repeat” and listen to the same song on loop for hours than listening to His voice.

It’s part of the reason why I stayed away from retreats for so long.

Retreats always open up a lot of myself, my raw emotions, my tears, and so often in times of prayer I get so emotional because that’s how God reaches me.

Tonight on the ride home from Queens as I drove over the Triboro Bridge, I glanced at the New York City skyline and realized that in a city with millions of people, sometimes I feel so alone.

That lonely feeling, that isolation is often in my life, and that’s why I look to iTunes to fill that gap, looking at every song like it will somehow still my soul but it never does.

There’s even moments where I walk out of a great Mass, on the heels of a great homily,  yet my soul is still not at peace.

But occasionally on nights like tonight, spent in fellowship reading God’s Word, I feel that He is slowly mending the pieces of my broken heart, filling in the cracks, cracks I didn’t even know I had.

I’ve often called Christ the Divine Physician, because He can quickly analyze and diagnose everything that ails me. He knows what gets me worried, my concerns, what my daily struggles are, down to the very detail and minutiae.

Whenever I’m in prayer with Him, I usually start out with one problem of mine, and then twenty minutes into the conversation I find myself talking about something that I didn’t even know I was still struggling with. And by the end of the conversation, I’ve learned something more about myself and about Him.

Having said that I really am glad he is my Lord and Savior and not my primary care physician, because with all the drama I’ve given Him over the years, my copay should be through the roof.

But I know He loves it all, because at the end of the day I am His and He is mine. And I wouldn’t trade that relationship for anything this world has to offer me.



John CanaleJohn Canale lives in New York City and comes from a family of twelve children. He is number ten and the last of seven boys, growing up in between four sisters. Being in a large family gave tons of blessings, one of which was the experience of growing up around different personalities. And surviving amidst it all. It wasn’t easy finding his voice among so many other voices in a large family, but as he grew up he eventually found it in his writing. John writes about young adult culture and the Catholic faith. John can be reached at and on Twitter @JohnCanale.