Let a person dwell alone in silence, for the Lord has laid this upon them. Lamentations of Jeremiah 3: 28
God calls most, if not all, of us to sometimes draw apart and be silent. And God calls some people to make this the main call upon their lives. Solitaries who are following such a call (as distinct from people who are running away from something) should be encouraged. In The Catalogue of the Saints of Ireland there was an entire order of such people – anchorites.
An old Celtic word for prayer meant literally ‘the quiet of Christ’. The Celtic Christians learned the value of silence from the desert fathers and mothers.
It was said that Abba Agatha carried a pebble in his mouth for three years until he learned to be silent.
Sayings of the Desert Fathers
Allow me with your peace and charity to remain in silence in these woods.
Columbanus in a Letter to the French Bishops
Silence is the element in which great things fashion themselves together.
Souls of prayer are souls of deep silence. That is why we must accustom ourselves to deep stillness of the soul. God is the friend of silence. See how nature, the trees, the flowers, the grass grow in deep silence. See how the stars, the moon, and the sun move in silence. The more we receive in our silent prayer, the more we can give in our active life. Silence gives us a new way of looking at everything. We need this silence in order to touch souls. Jesus is waiting for us in the silence. It is there that he speaks to our souls. Interior silence is very difficult but we must make the effort to pray. A soul of prayer can make progress without recourse to words by learning to be present to Christ. In silence we find a new energy and a real unity.
In silence I become aware of you, O Lord
In the silence I adore you, O Lord
In the silence my sins stand out and are washed away
In the silence my problems fall into their rightful place.
In the silence I become a grateful person
And in the silence, O Lord, we become one