“Hold silence in great esteem, and observe it willingly. It is the guardian of all the virtues and an obstacle to all vices, because it prevents detraction and all language contrary to charity, truth, and modesty. We must use language only for necessary things and not distract ourselves with worldly conversation and useless words. Often reflect that a person who is not reserved in speech cannot become spiritual and that a sure means of attaining perfection rapidly is to avoid sins of the tongue…. Strive always to unite interior silence with the exterior silence of the tongue, forgetting created things in order to think only of God and of the holy presence of God, with whom you must always endeavor to converse interiorly.” ~Collection of Various Short Treatises, Means to Perform Their Actions Well, pg 63
One of my favorite parts of the Advent season is the beautiful music we hear. It is only during this time that we listen to classics like “The Little Drummer Boy”, “Silent Night”, and my personal favorite “O Holy Night”. Attached to these songs there exists a sentiment of divine love, perhaps because the composers were inspired by the joy that Christmas brings.
One of these songs, “Silent Night”, calls to mind the immense seclusion of our Savior’s birth. In the dark stable, away from the commotion of the busy city of Jerusalem, all was calm and all was bright. Even when the angels sang “Alleluia” from heavens above, silence remained here on Earth as the blessed Child slept in heavenly peace. For the beauty of the moment, human words could not suffice, nor were they needed.
Saint John Baptist De La Salle understood the importance of both interior and exterior silence:
As we approach the final week of Advent, take some time to appreciate the beautiful music of the season. But please, do not forget to appreciate the inexpressible beauty of silence.