Words and Silence

There is a page in our monastic Antiphonary that concludes the end of one of the liturgical seasons. The page has four words written on it: “This page is blank.” The other pages of course do not say, “This image has words.”

Maybe the monk who put those words there did not trust the intelligence of the other monks. I am sure he was well intentioned, but apparently he did not trust how obvious the blank page was – he wanted to give directions. Or maybe the blank page bothered him; he had to put something there.

We should try to resist the urge to put words where no words a necessary. We share God’s life and so we share with him the language and the wisdom of the unspoken. Jesus asks that we trust the Spirit to speak through us – we don’t need to worry about words.

(Portraits of Grace, James Stephen Behrens OCSO, p. 56)


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