By: Sister Mary Colombiere, O.C.D.
My Beloved is the mountains …
The tranquil night
At the approaches of the dawn,
The silent music,
The murmuring solitude,
The supper which revives, and enkindles love.
(Spiritual Canticle – Stanza XIV; XV)
The poetry of John of the Cross is filled with inspired imagery which he drew from God’s creation. John’s prayer was animated by the beauty of nature which he found all about him and pointed out to his brethren when he took them on walks outside the monastery.
Although his poems captured his burning love of God with visual stimuli, there was something more that captured the attention of the reader, a deeper meaning that went beyond the imagery. Those seeking a more profound inner life were counseled by John to approach faith as a deepening relationship of love. This is still the goal of those pushing against an increasingly secular culture.
To what extent do you recognize the sense of silence as a priority, as an urgent necessity to your spiritual life? Are you afraid of silence? Do you have a tendency to drown out your inner voice by entertaining distractions, surrounding yourself with loud music or preoccupation with your cell phone? Do you speak more than you listen? More than you reflect? As you respond to these questions, listen to the words of Cardinal Robert Sarah on our present condition:
I think that we are the victims of the superficiality, selfishness and worldly spirit that are spread by our media-driven society. We get lost in struggles for influence, in conflicts between persons, in a narcissistic, vain activism. We swell with pride and pretension, prisoners of a will to power. For the sake of titles, professional or ecclesiastical duties, we accept vile compromises. But all that passes away like smoke… The only reality that deserves our attention is God Himself, and God is silent. He waits for our silence to reveal Himself.
“The tree of silence bears the fruit of peace.” (Proverb)