Silence is so much more than zipping our mouths shut, or ceasing to make noise.
I may refuse to speak to someone because I am too angry for words. Or I may mute my voice for fear of being rejected when I tell the truth. Perhaps I just need time to sort out all the jumbled thoughts swirling through my head.
Many children zip their mouths shut because they are told to do so. But they have not learned Sacred Silence. I had more than one grammar school teacher who wielded the power of silence as a weapon, imposing silence on us as a form of punishment. Some spouses impose “the silent treatment” to get their own way. We have all witnessed such times of silence but we wouldn’t call them”sacred”.
When brimming with goodwill, we abandon ourselves in the presence of the other; when we listen with every cell of our being; when we plunge into the full silence where God dwells we learn Sacred Silence. Whether in relationship with God, or each other, Sacred Silence takes us deep into places where words would only interrupt the language already being spoken, the communion already being fully lived. Sacred silence communicates Love.