What Zechariah Learned in Silence

God achieves everything, acts in all circumstances, and brings about all our interior transformations. But he does it when we wait for him in recollection and silence. In silence, not in the turmoil and noise. God enters into the innermost depths of our being…. 

God’s being has always been present in us in an absolute silence. And a human being’s own silence allows him to enter into a relationship with the Word that is at the bottom of his heart. Thus, in the desert, we do not speak. We listen in silence; man enters into a silence that is God…. Silence is not an absence. On the contrary, it is the manifestation of a presence, the most intense of all presences. In modem society, silence has come into disrepute; this is the symptom of a serious, worrisome illness. The real questions of life are posed in silence. Our blood flows through our veins without making any noise, and we can hear our heartbeats only in silence…. 

Keeping quiet by mastering one’s lips and tongue is a difficult, blazing, and arid work. But we must delve ever deeper into the interior realities that can shape the world usefully. Man must stand silently before God and tell him: God, since you gave me knowledge and the desire for perfection, lead me continually toward the absolute of love. Make me love more and more, because you are the wise artisan who leaves no work unfinished, as long as the day of the creature does not oppose you with obstacles and refusals. I surrender wordlessly to you, 0 Lord. I want to be docile and malleable like clay in your hands, for you are a skillful, benevolent potter. 

Cardinal Robert Sarah

Cardinal Sarah is the Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.

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