What then does this humility look like, what does this wound feel like, what does it sound like? Silence.

He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
Yet He opened not His mouth;
He was led as a lamb to the slaughter,
And as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
So He opened not His mouth.
Isaiah 53:7

Consider Christ. Contemplate his silence in the presence of scorn and at the hand of wounding; a silence well-pleasing to God to bring about the reconciliation of the world. It was not the Sermon on the Mount that ended enmity with God, but Christ crucified. The efficacious Word of God was silent.

I seek a humility which pardons my brother before he asks for pardon. And if I cannot do good to those who do me evil, at least I will flee those who offend me. If I cannot flee, I will practice silence.

Neither should I judge myself unjustly, because it does not always prove useful to pray against sin. For my struggle is not against sin, rather it is towards God. Pride might build a fortress in such a prayer, for pride tempts by virtues gained in striving. I have prayed, Do not permit me to sin! and yet I sin. My only unspent weapon is silence.

If I wish to share the nature of Christ, when I am accused falsely I will not answer word for word, neither will I ask, What have I done? As the stones fall, I must not cry out. I will shut my mouth up with the smaller stones, but I will learn silence; remembering the soul has no need of oratory.

Silence receives. What hope have open ears apart from a closed mouth? A friend of silence comes close to God. In secret he converses with Him and receives His light. (John Climacus)

It is time to become uprooted from the settled life of noise and strike out into the wilderness of silence. In a battle of echoes only silence disarms the powers–only the silent wastes can expose the things shrouded in urban clamor.

In this interior kingdom, I experience the anguish of my flesh and the bitterness of my narrow bowels, where alienation bakes the dust and the horrors of my hatred of myself and of others is flayed open.

But if there is no cover for my grief, neither is there any longer a mask obscuring God’s presence. For the Resurrected Christ dwells here in this desert, the conqueror who broke the very gates of Hades, the Evenstar who sets fire to the boundless horizon, He who turns all endings in that place to beginnings. This wilderland is revealed as a green country and the sunset a swift sunrise!

So mindfulness of death thus transfigures as remembrance of God; and suffering to trust, burnt herbs into balmy incense.

This then is the incorruptible reward of silence: communion with the Living God.

Be silent!

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