Something so beautiful,
so amazing,
is alive within the silence.
Something is there,
within, beckoning,
gently calling my name.

It is glimpsed
in precious, gifted moments,
when the veil is lifted,
if only slightly.
A solitary hike in the mountains.
As I progress further
into the wilderness
all noises, distractions, and cares
fall away,
leaving my heart free to expand,
reaching out to the beauty
that speaks to me
through the whispering trees,
through the majesty of the peaks
towering into the sky,
ahead of me,
reaching out to God.

We stay up late into the night,
speaking of things
people ordinarily conceal,
the mysteries and secrets
of the heart, its beauty, its pain.
I didn’t know beforehand
that I yearned so much for this:
this heart-to-heart sharing,
giving myself, receiving the other
who is so deep, profound,
more than I could have imagined.
But then something mysterious occurs
as we part ways
and I sit on the floor in my room,
alone, my head upon my knees.
What was so rich and so beautiful
expands within my heart,
my heart itself expanding
towards a mystery still deeper within
and beyond, in infinite majesty,
a communion more intimate,
more profound,
which we have only glimpsed.

Working in the office,
I pause for a rest,
looking up from the computer
and leaning back in my chair.
There is a moment of hush
and I feel something gently
awakening in me.
Through every burden
and every responsibility,
it is such a gift, this life,
such a pure, undeserved grace
to be alive, my God,
your beloved child.

We all go up together, receiving
this sacred Mystery offered to us.
Holy Communion entering this flesh
through the hand and the tongue,
the Bridegroom entering the
wedding-chamber, alone.
Together in solitude,
praying to the One who is within,
in each of us uniquely
and all of us, together.
Remaining in the church
as all others slowly filter away.
Then, alone with the Beloved,
the silence itself speaks:
of those who have gone,
and even more of him who is present…
a silence reaching out its arms
to enfold us in itself.

The silence of solitude
is much more than a mere
combination of these two:
silence and solitude.
It is a breath, a heartbeat,
an expansion of soul,
reaching out, ardently,
to the One who reaches out to me.
He dwells there, inviting,
beyond the ruckus of this world,
beyond our careless words and chatter,
beyond our suffocating activity,
beyond our fears and compulsions,
beyond our doubts and anxieties
…and yet within them all, loving.

Solitude itself has a way
of hollowing out and pruning the heart.
But the solitude, in this way,
is much more than external;
it is an inner mystery too.
The tendency we often have
is to flee from encounter,
the encounter for which,
however, we unceasingly yearn,
and for which he yearns so much more
to grant freely to us.
But to abide here in stillness,
as this mind, body, and heart
themselves slowly still,
is to find an immensity
opening up before me, within.

The desert is not empty.
No, the truth is quite the reverse.
It is so abundant, overflowing,
that its mystery cannot be contained.
There is a magnetism here
which touches and draws the heart,
and a fullness of love and beauty
that surges forth like living streams.
But a heart acquainted only
with the periphery, the surface,
struggles to glimpse the
truth that is here.
Touch us, my God,
with your beauty
in this land of exile…
and draw us to you!

The silence of solitude.
Neither silence nor solitude
itself is absolute.
They are space,
—not nothingness, not emptiness—
but openness to encounter,
to receive, and to give.
They are heart touching heart
in a way beyond words,
a prayer which can be expressed
in only this way.

The silent Mystery itself
emerging in this sacred place,
is more that a thing or a state,
for it is a Person,
silently beckoning, gently speaking
words beyond words.
He offers here, in silence,
he begets here in solitude,
—in this inmost place of my heart—
his very own self,
freely given, completely surrendered
to me in intimate love.

And I find that this
deep, hidden, interior place
is at the heart of all things.
For here my heart,
touching him whose Heart touches me,
is also touching the heart
of every other person.
Here we are all united
in him whose Love unites us as one
…in the joyful embrace
of the Father, Spirit, and Son.


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