November 6, 2021
A Reflection from the Interpath Traditions
by Thomas P. Bonacci, C.P.
A slogan out there says, “Silence is golden!” It is quite insightful and worth considering. The Sages of Ancient times practiced silence as a way of living. Silence, of course, is deeply connected to hearing. I cannot hear another person unless I practice the virtue of silence. Our physical bodies portray this wisdom since we have two ears and one mouth. Perhaps we are to listen more than we speak. If we did so, what we say might be profound, heartfelt, and quite wise. Silence is not the same as not speaking. When we stop talking, we might be angry, withdrawn, or afraid. Silence is the willingness to hear another person becoming a vital part of their lives. In a word, silence savors the presence of another person.
Silence invites us to realize we are a vital companion of the World around us. When we listen to the wind rushing through the trees, we hear the song of Nature singing in our souls. We might even experience the presence of God as we quietly walk in the meadows, stroll down a sidewalk, or peacefully sit in our chairs. Silence is receptivity. We can taste the wisdom of the moment in the silence.
Silence is the mother of justice. God is said to have heard the cry of the poor. So, as we quiet ourselves, we too will hear the cry of the poor touching our hearts and changing our lives. Think of any parent who ever raised a child. In the quiet of the night, the child’s cries are the rallying call for the parent’s love.
Lovers spend hours in silence. Once an elderly couple shared with me, they now travel the expanse of creation as they quietly hold one another’s hands dreaming each other’s dreams.
Even the notes of great music have moments of restful silence. Melody, harmony, and rhythm are all born from the quiet moments of a musical score.
There is a powerful story from the Taoist tradition about a man who entered a bird shop. Two parakeets were for sale. The one who could talk was on sale for one-hundred dollars. The other, which could not speak, was five-hundred dollars. The perplexed inquired of the shopkeeper the sense of such an arrangement. The shopkeeper peacefully explained, “Even though he cannot speak, he can ponder!”
We might do well to ponder. Children call it daydreaming. Older people call it snoozing. Everyone calls it love. When we ponder, we open our hearts to receive the blessings of the day and the gifts of other people. We might even find ourselves.
Blessings to you, Holy Community, for all the times you hear the song of the wind, the cry of the poor, and the voice in your heart.
As things begin to return to a new normal, we at The Interfaith Peace Project are here for you in any way that you need us. The Antioch Center is now open to fully vaccinated people on Wednesdays, from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm. We are vigilant and will adjust to any and all recommendations from the state and county. We will continue our work through Zoom as we add in person programs. If you would like to schedule an in person or Zoom program or would like a phone appointment with any of us, give us a call. You may call or email Tom at: