An individual sitting in an emergency waiting room noticed a man in a wheel chair in considerable pain with his wife by his side. For a half hour the couple never exchanged a word; they just held hands, looking intently at each other. Once or twice the woman patted the man's face. The person watching said the feeling of love was so tangible in the room that she felt she was sharing their silent communion. Their silent love was also joyful and portrayed the fullness of a human relationship. That's what spiritual silence is all about. Love does not necessarily require words. It often requires silence.
If the heart of prayer is listening, what is it we listen to when we pray? The obvious answer is God's voice, yet great care is needed lest we presume the divine voice is like an ordinary human one. The essence of God's voice is silence...To be silent is to empty oneself of the din of transitory distractions so that one becomes fully receptive to the silence that always and everywhere underlies them. The silence thus cultivated is not a void so much as an expectant readiness, a sensitive receptivity, to the stillness hidden in the noise of daily life.