There are no words for the deepest things. Words become feeble when mystery visits and prayer moves into silence. In post-modern culture the ceaseless din of chatter has killed our acquaintance with silence. Consequently, we are stressed and anxious. Silence is a fascinating presence. Silence is shy; it is patient and never draws attention to itself. Without the presence of silence, no word could ever be said or heard. Our thoughts constantly call up new words. We become so taken with words that we barely notice the silence, but the silence is always there. The best words are born in the fecund silence that minds the mystery.
…When the raft of prayer leaves the noisy streams of words and thoughts, it enters the still lake of silence. At this point, you become aware of the tranquility that lives within you. Beneath your actions, gestures, and thoughts, there is a silent tranquility.
When you pray, you visit the kind innocence of your soul. This is a pure place of unity which the noise of life can never disturb. You enter the secret temple of your deepest belonging. Only in this temple can your hungriest longing find stillness and peace. This is summed up in that lovely line from the Bible “Be still and know that I am God.” In stillness, the silence of the divine becomes intimate.
…When we pray, we pray to that space in the Divine Presence which absolutely knows us. This could be what is suggested in the New Testament when it says of our return to the invisible world: “On that day you will know as you are known.”
– John O’Donohue, Eternal Echoes (p. 206-207)