DEEP BLESSINGS, dear friends! Let us dare to believe that each time we offer the gift of ourselves in silnce and prayer, we interconnet with untold others around the world: individual hearts untied as One with Divine Universal Love -- saving Grace for the Earth. In the Silence, may we bless one another each day with gentle joy and abiding peace ... silent loving service in action.
The first Americans believe profoundly in silence — the sign of perfect equilibrium. Silence is the absolute poise or balance of body, mind and spirit. Those who preserve their selfhood are ever calm and unshaken by the storms of existence — not a leaf, as it were, astir on the tree. If you ask, "What is silence?" They will answer, "It is the Great Mystery! The holy silence is Great spirit's voice!" If you ask, "What are the fruits of silence?"" you would be told, "They are self-control, true courage or endurance, patience, dignity, and reverence. Silence is the cornerstone of character."
The fruit of silence is known only to those with experience. There is gradually born within us in and of our silence itself, something that will draw us on to still greater silence. God leads us into solitude to speak to our heart. Let our hearts be a living altar from which there constantly ascends before God pure prayer, with which all our acts should be imbued.
Were You not to grant me the grace
during the night-watchers
of drinking the silence,
of diving into it,
of being soaked in it,
How should I know
that inner silence,
one can hear
We are each surrounded by an enormous silence that can be a blessing and a help to us, a silence in which the skein of reality is knitted and unraveled to be knit again, in which the perspective of work can be enlarged and enriched. Silence is like a cradle holding our endeavors and our will; a silent spaciousness sustains us in our work and at the same time connects us to larger worlds that, in the busyness of our daily struggle to achieve, we have not yet investigated. Silence is the soul's break for freedom.
We need silence to be able to touch souls. The more we receive in silent prayer, the more we can give in our active life. God is a friend of silence. The essential thing is not what we say, but what God will say through us.
Silence brings us far beyond soundlessness, it quiets our senses and spirit and tunes our heart for a deep and delicate listening. For, silence is a primal language which speaks and listens from the heart. It is not the only language through which we communicate with God, but it is a necessary second language since the knowledge of God is received in divine silence. Like all other languages, silence is easily forgotten without practice and discipline.
Dear friend, do you not see
That whatever we look upon here
Is but reflection, merely a shadow,
Of what is invisible to our earthly eyes?
Dear friend, do you not know
That the jarring noises of the world
Are but an echo distorted
Of triumphant harmonies?
Dear friend, do you not sense
That in all the world is only
What one heart says to another
In silent greeting?
To be able to enter daily into the silence
without worries, fears, doubts,
without plans of any sort,
to say no more than, "I AM HERE"
and to feel it so,
simply and truly — is an act of faith,
an exercise in openness, attentiveness, devotion.
It will shape your soul to meet
the Friend of your heart.
There are billows far out on the ocean
that never break on the beach.
There are thoughts in the temple of silence
too great for our hearts to speak.
SILENCE, the pure objective awareness of being, is our "way without words." It opens us up to our deepest spiritual awareness. Silence is fertile soil. What we receive from this rich ground depends on what we put into it... seeds that we ourselves plant in our inmost silence. People who remain unconscious about their own spiritual life seem like irresponsible farmers: they devalue the land entrusted to their care.
Silence before God has deep significance: in the quietness of the soul the individual sinks into the central fire of communion... In the silent act of breathing and in the unspoken dialogue of the soul with God, solitary as these are, deep communion can be given.
The essence of silence is self-emptiness, docility, receptivity, detachment, desire, listening, communion. Every act of silence is a little Advent. A Luigi Giussaní sums it up, "Silence is not merely keeping quiet, but it is the attitude of one who lives standing before a 'You' who is presenting, entreating a 'you' who is present." Teresa of Avila refers to contemplative prayer as the "prayer of quiet." Such prayerful silence enhances our ability and eagerness to listen to our Beloved. In this silence, the one in love remains perfectly content just to behold the Beloved, gazing in a state of holy and tranquil abiding. Silence speaks to silence.
May your silence be in
holy communion with the
of your heart...
Silence blossoms in prayer.
SILENCE was the first prayer I learned to trust when I began my visits to San Damiano. Only later did I begin to let the words in. The silence of the chapel at prayer was broken only by a habit of praise that I came to see was so primal it was not only human. It was — or it mimicked exactly — the essential utterance of existence. It rose from the raw passion which rules life, an urge which has no voice but craves articulation. This communal prayer voiced a harmony otherwise elusive in all of creation, yet thrumming in the monastic silence.