Because of my blindness, I had developed a new faculty. Strictly speaking, we all have it, but almost all forget to use it. That faculty is attention. In order to live without eyes it is necessary to be very attentive, to remain hour after hour in a state of wakefulness, of receptiveness and activity. Indeed, attention is not simply a virtue of intelligence or the result of education, and something one can easily do without. It is a state of being . . . a state without which we shall never know wholeness. In its truest sense it is the listening post of the universe.
In every ministry, one is giving something to someone else; in shared silence, one is giving oneself. Sharing interior silence is the giving of one's inmost being to another. When one does this in a group, everyone shares everybody else's level or degree of interior silence. Thus, everyone in the group tends to move to a deeper place than when alone and relying on one's own limited experience.
This is especially the case when silence is penetrated by the gift of interior silence. Then silence is an encounter with the divine presence within. One rests in the conviction of faith and in peace that transcends joy and sorrow. It brings one in face-to-face contact with God, so to speak, a being-to-being exchange.