Saturday, May 20, 2017

God's profound silence

St Ignatius of Antioch speaks to us today about silence in A Year with the Church Fathers.

He tells us that Jesus's silences teach us as well as His words... and that actions are more important than speeches. It hearkens back to the story Jesus told of the two servants... one who said he would do his master's bidding, and then didn't, and one who said he wouldn't, but then did.

But this idea of silence invites us in to something very profound. Because we've all experienced God's silence from time to time. And most of us complain about it, don't we? We want God to speak. We want to hear from Him. And usually, we have the right intentions in wanting to hear Him. But sometimes His silences speak to us louder and more eloquently than words do.

An example is Pontius Pilate. Pilate asked Jesus, "What is truth?" and Jesus didn't say anything. Because He Himself WAS Truth, standing before Pilate as the nonverbal Word that answered his question more eloquently than any speech would have.

I think most of us are familiar with the idea of "comfortable silence." When you are, say, riding in a car with a good friend, and you don't have to say anything because you are just enjoying each other's company. You trust each other, in your thoughts especially, and you don't feel like you have to fill up the silence with words.

That's the way it is with God sometimes. We can enjoy His company. Just being in His presence. Not needing to fill up the glorious quiet with yammering words that distract us from Who He is. We can trust Him enough not to have to keep pestering Him to show us His love through words... just bask in the love that we know He has for us.

So the next time you experience His silence... listen. That silence can fill you up.

God, thank You for your silence. Help us to drink it in.