Ah, dear Father, silence is not only desire,
but the resting of desire, in its very thirst,
at the ever-flowing fountain that embraces us here.
I yearn for silence, but in yearning I already taste,
and in tasting I yearn but even more.
This is a blessed repose and a restful thirst,
this joy expanding the heart, opening out,
yet drawing simultaneously deeper within.
It is dwelling in the inmost solitude of your embrace,
yet reaching out, in the profound communion that you are,
to the reality of ever other person, given to me by you.
Silence of its nature is not felt
in the ordinary way that we are accustomed to feel,
though at times perhaps it overflows here too.
But it is a reality both deeper and more all-encompassing,
such that I am always, whether I know it or not,
enfolded within its embrace, sheltered and gently held.
To allow myself to fall silent,
to enter into communication with your silent arms,
is simply to become attentive,
no longer merely spilling-out in word and act,
nor being carried blindly by the passing current,
but dwelling, present, alert, and alive,
in the reality of this moment, for you are here,
and drinking in—through contemplative gazing,
and ears and heart that listen and receive—
the mystery of your presence in each person and each thing.
The greatest things are accomplished in the silence.
Artistic inspiration, in a simple gaze of eyes and heart,
truth and wisdom, in the intuition of the soul,
love, in the glance which sees beyond, within,
indeed, true hearing and true speaking of the word.
Above all, loving Father, your Word is spoken in silence,
as in the beginning you created the world,
birthed from the silent womb of your eternal Love,
and as you begot this Word into the Virgin’s womb
in the silence of the night of earth and faith.
She herself gave birth as well in the silence,
as darkness cloaked the world, stars twinkling, hushed,
at their posts, gazing in reverence and awe.
The Son dwelt for thirty years in silence,
in the shelter of his family-womb,
in the life of contemplation, of humble work,
of intimate communion hidden from the eyes of the world.
Thirty years in silence and only three in public ministry,
to teach us, Father, that beauty is born from the silence
and to silence, finally, it returns at the end.
This is true even during those three years,
as Jesus retreated so often to be alone with you,
and indeed bore in himself unceasingly this silence
even in the midst of the greatest crowds
…this interior dwelling place of solitude in your presence
where he abides against your loving breast.
And finally, Father, as his life draws to a close
he is silent like a lamb led to the slaughter,
yet much more, like you, loving Father,
who love so deeply and speak so incessantly
that even in the silence your voice resounds.
His word is like a crescendo, growing louder
as it grows ever more quiet and still,
speaking with fullest voice when it is mute,
when words are no more formed, but a cry,
then silence…the spirit handed over to you.
The veil is rent, a silence space opened within our world,
where we can come to dwell, sheltered in silent arms
—the Crucified One, yet risen from the dead,
joyful silence, ineffable fullness, radiant Word—
in the dwelling-place of his opened Heart,
where we repose, loving Father, against your breast,
yes, within the very intimacy between you and your Son,
feeling in mystery, in faith, the heartbeat of Love,
ever pulsating in each moment, eternally.