The Sound of Silence

The Sound of Silence


Credit: Flickr user alicepopkorn (cc)

(From Adoration, by Martha Kilpatrick)

Mary lived in a profound silence.

In all three episodes she is quiet.
Only one small quote is recorded.
And it was a plea directed at Jesus,
not for the ears of people.

The message of her life:

not a legacy of words
rather the stark absence of talk,
a silence… rare and mystifying.

The only voice in her life was Jesus’.
He spoke for her, about her… in defense of her.

Mary had no drive to explain,
no compulsion to be heard
no obsession to be understood.

Lust for audiences had been abandoned.
All such had died in her.

She had found her soul’s understanding in Him.
She had been still enough to know she was heard
and now – in quiet –
she could listen.

Our idea of prayer is to hurl words at God.
Mary knew prayer as silence in His presence,
to listen… without the audacity to speak…

“The Lord is in His Holy Temple, let all the earth
keep silence before Him.”  Habakkuk 2:20

The world is a swirl of noise,
a loud competition of voices,
in piles of useless words.

Mary neither entered it nor heard it.

The only words she strained to hear were the
captivating Words of God in Christ,
full of Living Eternity.

And they were – for her – priceless,
the only Words worth hearing.

Silence is one thing – amazing in itself –
but stillness is a rare internal quiet
a peace of mind,
a rest of heart,
by having found one’s long lost home…
in the Soft Presence of God.

Mary found serenity before she entered stillness.
True quiet issues from inviting God into
the long-sealed chambers of the soul
and letting His invasion calm
our native hysteria.

Self-centered talk is the expression of pride,
of not having seen the
God whose Face perceives us.

Meekness is not natural to a humanity
that thinks it is
superior to its own Creator.

Humility is the quality of having had
vain illusions cremated by
the Burning Love of Christ.

Silence is born of humility,
the awareness that you have
out of your self-taught ideas
nothing to speak worth hearing.

It is having encountered
God by His True Size
breathtaking and magnificent
and seeing that
contrast between you and Him.

It is the exact measure of
your consciousness
of God and the
proof of your confidence in Him…

that He really IS…
the God you want Him to be,
nothing less and so much more.

We do not grasp the Holy Gentleness of God.

If we insist on
the babble of our crude humanity
charmed by the sound of
our own noise, then

this God of Kindness will stand back,
robed in His Tranquil Dignity
and let us have the vain spotlight
of endless talk.

His voice is not in the storm or wind,
not in earthquake nor fire.
We could not bear that voice in
the Fullness of such Measureless Energy.

As Elijah learned, His voice was still and small,
“delicate and whispering.”  (1 Kings 19:12)

Jesus said to His disciples, “What you hear
whispered in your…” (Matthew 10:27 NAS)

If humanness will merely be still,
The entire Trinity will come forth
and speak
by a whisper in the silence…
heard by no one else.

Lord, give me the strength to be still, silent, and at rest in Your presence.

Follow the Life!


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