We Need Silence

by Catherine Doherty

It seems to me, as I sit by my window at eventide, that what we need is a true encounter with our Brother, Jesus Christ.

We need to open ourselves completely to the work of the Holy Spirit so as to find God the Father in whom alone is our peace, our security, and our joy.

It seems to me that we must enter into the silence of Mary, the little, simple, holy Jewish maid who knew so well how to repeat her fiats (her yeses). They made every moment of her day secure in her trust of God, even though there were a thousand things that she did not understand but which she kept in her heart, in faith.

Silence will heal the wounds inflicted by the endless words that swarm around us, exhaust us, tire us beyond all tiredness. We need silence in our noisy, work–filled life, as a child needs its mother’s milk.

We need to be alone with God. We need to have a desert, be it only a corner of some apartment, some house, where we can go and rest with God. We need to follow him to some hill, to some garden where he himself was also wont to pray when he was tired and weary and distressed.

We need silence in order to be able to listen to our brothers and sisters, to listen with the heart. We need silence to open our souls to our brothers, making an inn for the thousands who may be living in palatial homes but have no place to lay their heads of loneliness.

We need that silence to be able to speak a few words charged with our love, charged with Christ.

Excerpted from Welcome, Pilgrim, MH Publications, p. 103, (1991), out of print