For Lent: Keep your heart in peace

April 3, 2009

Silence imposes itself on us inwardly in two ways.  It issues from our poverty and it springs from our plenitude.  Silence may sometimes be an expression of our poverty.  This happens when we realize that we are not yet capable of speaking the word as we should.  Jesus was very severe about the useless words a believer might speak thoughtlessly (Matthew 12:36)…

But there is another kind of silence which springs from a fullness within us. . . A moment comes when silence alone can express the extraordinary richness of our heart.  Such a silence unfolds a person gently and powerfully and always comes from within.  Prayer governs it and teaches us when we should be silent and when we should speak.  It is very pure praise and at the same time it radiates outward to others.  Such silence never hurts anyone.  It establishes a zone of peace and quiet around the one who is silent, where God can be irresistibly felt as present.  ‘Keep your heart in peace’ says St. Seraphim of Sarov ‘and a multitude around you will be saved’.

— Andre Louf, The Cistercian Way.

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