God speaks in silences, and only those who are quiet of heart can hear what he says. The underlying reality is that there is no friendship with God without silence. This "silence" does not mean just keeping noise levels low; it is the form of pure truthfulness. Unless one has learned to stop, be quiet and listen to another, then one remains locked in one's own little world. In silence we make the wonderful and liberating discovery that we are not gods, but just creatures. Silence can disturb and frighten people. It is the silence with which we exclude the completely unexpected, the new, the unthinkable. It is the silence by which I shut out unwelcome words which may rob me of peace of mind. Consequently, we often conclude that silence is an unnatural void, to be filled as quickly as possible with speech, music or other noise. Unfortunately, for many of us, it seems to be the rule rather than the exception that when we sit down to pray in silence, we often have trouble leaving our work behind. Distractions flood our minds; our conscious thoughts are filled with wave after wave of conflicts, decisions, problems, and worries. So when a quiet moment comes and we sit before the Lord, what comes to mind may not be a moral thought or a feeling of praise. We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature – trees, flowers, grass – grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence. We need silence to be able to touch souls.
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