The Power of Silence
The Power of Silence: Against the Dictorship of Noise by Robert Cardinal Sarah
is excellent for meditation and spiritual reading. It can be applicable for everyone and is divided into short numbered paragraphs.
2. At the heart of man there is an innate silence, for God abides in the innermost part of every person. God is silence, and this divine silence dwells in man. In God we are inseparably bound up with silence. The Church can affirm that mankind is the daughter of a silent God; for men are the sons of silence.
3. God carries us, and we live with him at every moment by keeping silence. Nothing will make us discover God better than his silence inscribed in the center of our being. If we do not cultivate this silence, how can we find God? Man likes to travel, create, make great discoveries. But he remains outside of himself, far from God, who is silently in his soul. I want to recall how important it is to cultivate silence in order to be truly with God...
4. Through Sacred Scripture, when it is listened to and meditated upon in silence, divine graces are poured out on man. It is in faith, and not by traveling in distant lands or by crossing seas and continents, that we can find and contemplate God. Actually, it is through long hours of poring over Sacred Scripture, after resisting all the attacks of the Prince of this world, that we will reach God. Dom Augustin Guillerand is on the right track: what men possess in themselves, they find nowhere else. Unless silence dwells in man, and unless solitude is a state in which he allows himself to be shaped, the creature is deprived of God. There is no place on earth where God is more present than in the human heart. This heart truly is God’s abode, the temple of silence.
5. No prophet ever encountered God without withdrawing into solitude and silence. Moses, Elijah, and John the Baptist encountered God in the great silence of the desert. Today, too, monks seek God in solitude and silence. I am speaking, not just about a geographical solitude or movement, but about an interior state. It is not enough to be quiet, either. It is necessary to become silence. For, even before the desert, the solitude, and the silence, God is already in man. The true desert is within us, in our soul. Strengthened with this knowledge, we can understand how silence is indispensable if we are to find God. The Father waits for his children in their own hearts.
6. It is necessary to leave our interior turmoil in order to find God. Despite the agitations, the busyness, the easy pleasures, God remains silently present. He is in us like a thought, a word, and a presence whose secret sources are buried in God himself, inaccessible to human inspection. Solitude is the best state in which to hear God’s silence. For someone who wants to find silence, solitude is the mountain that he must climb. If a person isolates himself by going away to a monastery, he comes first to seek silence. And yet, the goal of his search is within him. God’s silent presence already dwells in his heart. The silence that we pursue confusedly is found in our own hearts and reveals God to us. Alas, the worldly powers that seek to shape modern man systematically do away with silence. I am not afraid to assert that the false priests of modernity, who declare a sort of war on silence, have lost the battle. For we can remain silent in the midst of the biggest messes and most despicable commotion...
Sarah, Robert Cardinal. The Power of Silence: Against the Dictatorship of Noise (pp. 22-24). Ignatius Press. Kindle Edition.
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