God is eternal silence; God dwells in silence.
He is eternal silence because he is the One who has totally realized his own being—because he says all and possesses all. He is infinite happiness and infinite life. All God’s works are marked by this characteristic.
Contemplate the Incarnation; it was accomplished in the silence of the Virgin Mary’s chamber at a time when she was in prolonged silence, her door closed.
Our Lord’s birth came during the night, while all things were enveloped in silence. That is how the Word of God appeared on earth, and only Mary and Joseph were silently with him. They did not overwhelm him with their questions, for they were accustomed to guarding their innermost thoughts.
Silence is not an empty void; God dwells therein.
Whoever embraces silence, welcomes God, and whoever relishes silence hears God speak. Silence is the echo of God’s eternity.
Servant of God Père Jacques de Jésus
Conference 8, Silence
Thursday Evening, 9 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.
Featured image: This detail of a stunning painting of St. John of the Cross comes from our Discalced Carmelite friars’ secluded monastery, the Desert of Las Batuecas in Spain. This historic monastery is a place where a few friars devote themselves to silence and work, recalling the words of St. John of the Cross to the nuns of Beas: “what is wanting, if anything is wanting, is not writing or speaking—rather these usually superabound—but silence and work. Furthermore, speaking distracts one, while silence and work recollects and strengthens the spirit” (Letter 8). The friars maintain a lovely blog in Spanish with beautiful photos and videos of their desert monastery. Image credit: Carmelitas Descalzos del Desierto de San José de Las Batuecas (Some rights reserved)