THE SILENCE: A Reflection from the Interpath Traditions Posted December 9, 2023 by admin@interfaith

Off Newton

A Reflection from the Interpath Traditions
by Thomas P. Bonacci, C.P.

In the world of spiritual discernment, people are attentive to the silence. For many practitioners of the spiritual arts, the silence speaks in mysterious and utterly practical ways. Think of the times in your life when a quiet moment was filled with the sounds of life, memory, love, and hope. The art of practicing silence touches every aspect of our lives, regardless of any particular religious belief or practice.

Silence enhances the sound of music. Silence creates a sense of expectation before a surprise party. Silence can bring people together in the solidarity of their common humanity.

The Hebrew Scripture tells the wonderful story of Samuel, who heard God in the silence (see I Samuel 3: 1-10). Elijah heard God in the silence, revealing the deep capacity of every person to hear a voice upon which they must act (see 1 Kings 19:11-13). In a world filled with noise, we might do well to enter into the silence. In the silence of the moment, we might hear a greater voice that truly reflects our deepest desires as human beings.

A few days ago, the cease-fire in the Middle East conflict between Israel and Hamas came to an end. News outlets are reporting that negotiations are continuing to bring about the release of more hostages and, perhaps, a new cease-fire. As the conflict ceased for a time, the silence speaks deeply to us in our war-torn world. Maybe we can speak to one another about issues that appear to be overwhelming.     

The silence of the cease-fire reminds us of the power of diplomacy. Nations came together to seek some resolution so a few families might be reunited and hope of peace might be born anew. 

Sometimes, powerful politicians and governmental officials, not to mention some religious people, quote the Bible to justify their wars, prejudices, and fears. Maybe the voice of God is not in the rage and anger but the silence. We might need to enter into the silence of our hearts to hear a voice greater than our fears before anyone else is hurt or hated.

Thank you, holy community, for embracing the silence for the sake of the world. Gratitude to you for blessing the people of the world with the quiet of your prayer and the courage of your hope.