Every once in a while an extended time of silence can be very fruitful. A time of retreat and then immersion in a great deal of work has meant that I have not been able to keep up this blog for the past month. Words.... Words mean much more when they come out of silence. There are so many words, too many words, a cacophany of words around us all the time. I have been in places where it was the silence that was deafening...a silence that spoke of presence and warmth and belief. Less is more. Fewer words and greater silence...the program of poetry and art. Just now I read the words addressed by Benedict XVI to Ionnis Zizioulas, the metropalitan archbishop of Pergamum who attended the papal Mass in St. Peter's on June 29, the Feast of Peter and Paul:
“I am pleased to recall how Byzantine hymnography attributes to Saint Peter a title charged with meaning, that of ‘protocoryphaeus,’ the first in the choir who has the task of maintaining the harmony of the voices, for the glory of God and the service of his people. I am therefore grateful to you who have come to unite your prayer to ours, prompted by our common commitment to continue the journey that leads us step by step to eliminate all dissonance from the choir of the one Church of Christ.”
The goal of words should be harmony. Even when they have to carry out the painful duty of correction or disagreement, the goal is ultimately the harmony of the voices who together praise the wonders God has wrought in us and for us.