In the relentless noise of a city that never sleeps, is it possible to find an oasis of silence? Can the heart find a place of peace amidst the honking ruckus of the streets? Where is the voice of God to be found in our modern day?

And behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and broke in pieces the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice. And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave.” (Kings 19:11-13a)

‘In this oasis of quiet,’ said the Pope, ‘amidst the marvelous spectacle of nature, one easily senses the value of silence, today an increasingly rare good. The many opportunities for relationships and for information that modern society offers risk sometimes eliminating room for recollection, to the point of making people incapable of reflecting and praying. In reality, only in silence can man succeed in listening, in the intimacy of his conscience, to the voice of God which truly makes him free…The perfect model of listening to God is Mary…May Mary, whom we will celebrate in a few days as Queen of Mount Carmel, help us to see in the beauty of creation a reflection of divine glory, and encourage us to aim with all of our strength to the spiritual peak of holiness.'” (Pope John Paul II, Vatican Information Service, ANG/SILENCE : PRAYER/LES COMBES VIS 040712 (290))

Let us explore some of the many nuances of silence whose whispers are scarcely heard.

(C) Paul Buis, 2004