A poem on the necessity of silence in this world of noise.
It is through silence that we
Come to truly know things.
In silence we find the roots, the stems
And the flowers of meaning.
But silence is rare indeed,
For we wander aimlessly
Through a world of noise.
Still, In the midst of this clamorous world,
There are moments and places where we
Discover silences so profound,
So pregnant with hints of meaning,
That we either fly from them in fear,
Or we sink into them timorously
And come to know some few
Moments of inexpressible bliss.
It is our deepest desire to somehow
Find some sanctuary of ineffable peace.
But this cacophonous world
Disturbs and constantly distracts us
With noisy and false attractions.
This Vanity Fair draws us away from
The narrow path that leads us back
To that blissful Eden we lost so long ago.
If we turn back regularly to silence,
If we seek the desert of solitude,
If we let go of the constant,
Demanding distractions that
Assault our every waking moment,
And if we retain within us an
Innocent capacity to be astonished,
We might develop the habits of prayer
And finally find that longed-for peace.
In purposefully seeking out those few
Places of serene solitude and silence
That lay hidden amidst this daily tumult,
We will find in them the Holy Presence
That waits with infinite patience for us
In the quiet sanctuary of our own hearts
And be surprised by Joy, again and again.
How can we express the joy
Of that inexpressible Intimacy,
With throats and tongues
Still too primitive to express it?
The Great Silence is enough.
It is the sound of the Living Word
That spoke each of us into being.
It is the ruah of God that
Gives life to all of creation,
That entered into the world
Through the womb of a Virgin
And dwells among us even now.
Praise Him, then.
Live that Great Silence joyfully
In the intimate places of your daily life,
For only it will change the world.
Dan Doyle. "Into The Great Silence." CERC (June 20, 2023).
Dan Doyle is a retired professor of English and the Humanities, having taught 13 years at the high school level and 22 years at the university level. He now spends his time babysitting his granddaughter, blogging, and writing poetry. He is on the Executive Board of CERC USA.Copyright © 2023 Catholic Education Resource Center
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