Greetings to all Friends of Silence -- and welcome to many new friends seeking to offer their gift of silence to our oh, so noisy world! One new friend came by way of a book this month: Jean Sulivan, who has been acclaimed as the most significant inspirational writer in France since George Bernanos, shares his spiritual journey in MORNING LIGHT:
To write is to enter into silence, to speak in a low voice for the few who enter into silence with you because they recognize a voice that is rising up out of themselves. There exists a race of people, you see, who are in harmony with you. One is a writer, another is a reader, what does it matter? They are branches of the same stream, beyond ideas and opinions. If so many human beings live by appearances and exhaust themselves in the theater of the world, it is in order to cover over the depth of the abyss. For if the immemorial voice continued to murmur to them, they would no longer be able to believe in progress, money, success or glory.
And, from Mother Teresa:
God is the friend of silence. We need to find God
But we cannot find God in noise, in excitement.
See how nature, the trees, the flowers, the grass
Grow in deep silence ... the stars, the moon and the sun
Move in silence ...
The fruit of silence is prayer. The fruit of prayer
Is faith. The fruit of faith is love.
The fruit of love is service ...
(The fruit of service is peace.)
Courage has roots. She sleeps on a futon on the floor and lives close to the ground. Courage looks you straight in the eye. She is not impressed with powertrippers, and she knows first aid. Courage is not afraid to weep, and she is not afraid to pray, even when she is not sure who she is praying to. When Courage walks, it is clear that she has made the journey from loneliness to solitude. The people who told me she is stern were not lying; they just forgot to mention that she is kind.
As a solitary bird
I am fond of solitude
Silently I direct my flight
toward a transcendent horizon
Freed and beauty bound
my heart sings a love song
In the still point of my peace-center
my life is a song of love
in unison with the divine love song
that calls forth the world
in sacred harmony.
What has always struck me about the way in which the desert dwellers receive friends is their ability to put all activity to one side. You, the guest, become the focal point, and they range themselves round you in a circle. If the owner of the tent has planned to go on a journey, he puts it off: now he must concern himself with you. If the wife was thinking of doing the laundry, she piles it all up on one side: now she must see about serving you. The guest is sacred: everything else is less important.
For the time being you are the one who matters: time is less important. And if the friend, who has left one corner of the world in order to search you out and spend a bit of time with you, has these rights, surely God has the same right, the one who came from heaven itself to find you; who took flesh in order to become visible for you; who became the Eucharist in order to gain entrance to your tent and stay there as long as possible.
I said to my soul, be still
and wait without hope,
For hope would be hope for the wrong thing;
wait without love,
For love would be love of the wrong thing;
there is yet faith,
But the faith and love and hope
are all in the waiting;
Wait without thought,
for you are not ready for thought;
So the darkness shall be the light,
and the stillness the dancing.