For this life of prayer to have all its intensity and fullness, it must be wrapped in silence. The soul that does not love silence is a soul not intended for Carmel.
A sluggish soul is not worthy of Carmel, for it will never arrive at profound prayer. Silence, a loyal silence in God’s presence all day long, a silence in the depth of one’s heart, on one’s lips, about oneself, everywhere! Carmel should be called the Monastery of Grand Silence, like the Cistercian monasteries.
This is God’s silence because it allows us to listen to the One who reveals God to us, the Holy Spirit. The breath of the Holy Spirit is too delicate to be exposed to noise or exterior agitation. If we know how to welcome silence, it will disclose, little by little, the great mystery of Christ through which we can embrace God!
Servant of God Père Jacques of Jesus
“To Give Back a Hundredfold”
Conference 14, Retreat to the Carmel of Pontoise
Sunday 12 September 1943
Jacques, P 2005, Listen to the silence: a retreat with Père Jacques, translated from the French and edited by Murphy F, ICS Publications, Washington DC.