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God’s mother tongue must be silence!

The first unwritten scripture was coded in silence, millions of years ago, before humans arrived on this planet.  That continues to be the language of creation.  God’s mother tongue must be silence! The word spirituality starts with the word Spirit who communicates through the medium of silence. God is attuned to earless hearing and wordless speaking.  I regard silence held in love as the best prayer ground before God
Picture in Dhyan Kutir. (Photo: Father Joe Prabhu SVD)

The first unwritten scripture was coded in silence, millions of years ago, before humans arrived on this planet.  That continues to be the language of creation.  God’s mother tongue must be silence! The word spirituality starts with the word Spirit who communicates through the medium of silence. God is attuned to earless hearing and wordless speaking.

I regard silence held in love as the best prayer ground before God.

During a friendly conversation, a Divine Word Missionary priest wanted to know my response to a question he was thinking over those days.

“I am sure,” the priest said, “the whole Church had been daily praying for one thing for sure, for God’s kingdom to come.”

“You are right” and I added, “not only Catholics, I suppose, all the Christians, counting more than 2 billion, believe and say the one-prayer, which Jesus taught.”

My friend’s actual query followed. “We have done it faithfully for more than two thousand years. And God’s kingdom has not yet come, and the world’s situation has only worsened. And why do you think it is not yet happening?”

And he laughed, hearing my response.

“Even if we continue to pray for the same intention for another two thousand years more, I won’t hesitate to predict its outcome already now and that is, the status quo will remain the same, or most probably it could  get worse.”  

God does not directly and personally build God’s kingdom on this earth. That would be similar to an invasion followed by colonisation by the Almighty.  It would have been an instant success story for God if that were the case.  

The responsibility of building it is upon human shoulders. And we are free to build it or not to do it. The choice is ours and ours alone. For more than 2000 years, we have spent time building other types of sovereignties, including our tiny kingdoms, while praying that God’s kingdom never ceased.  

I suppose the language of love experienced in silence when Jesus was alone with Abba on the hills became His form of regular prayer. Backed by the experience of 40 days and nights alone in the wilderness, at the very start of Jesus’ mission and ministry and his frequent hill station night vigils, He composed and taught his only prayer “Our Father.”

Whenever we speak to God and whatever the contents are, we can only repeat what we already know, have read or heard. In prayerful silence, we will get and learn new wisdom lines from God and our deeper true selves when we listen.

It is very human to think. “The more we speak and the louder we voice out our needs and together as a group.”

God, of course out of love, is almost forced to respond to us.  I think God must be saying to us: I understand the need you all have to speak but don’t overdo it, please.

Remembering Jesus’ ways of spending contemplative times alone on the hills, don’t you think it would be right to minimize giving advice, detailed information and giving even our directions to God about the problems we keep on creating in and around us in the world?  It will be interesting to see what will happen to our lives when we silently listen to Abba in love and follow what we hear in silence!

Won’t it be right for us to choose to live peacefully and do what we can, multiply channels of peace, and trust that peace will flow like a river? God is and communicates perfect harmony all the time. Let us see what will happen to our lives when we listen silently to the God of peace in love and follow divine suggestions we hear in peace-filled silence.

Won’t it be right for us to choose to live healthily and support our physicality with befitting thoughts and emotions? God wants now and forever, health for all of us! And God has fixed the healing device within us. Let us see what will happen to our lives when we listen silently to the God of health in love and follow the prescriptions we hear in silence.

Won’t it be right for us to choose to generate love and pass it on generously through the relational arteries without letting it get clogged? God is love all the time and knows only to love. The sun is always the sun and the rain, the rain. Let us see what will happen to our lives when we listen silently to the God of love in love and take to heart the tips we hear in silence.

Won’t it be right for us to choose to become 70 - times -7 - forgiving persons, make networks of forgiving hearts and let forgiveness flow through all our meridian lines? God knows only to forgive. Non-forgiveness cannot be a divine attribute. Let us see what will happen to our lives when we silently listen to the God of forgiveness in love and follow the directives we hear in silence.  

Won’t it be right for us to choose to reach out to people of various divergent Churches with respect, kindness and understating? Genuine followers of the Way, remain seekers and well-wishers of all friends of Jesus. Let us see what will happen to our lives if we silently listen to Abba whom Jesus revealed to all His believers and follow the divine all-inclusive narratives we hear in silence.

Won’t it be right for us to choose to reach out to people of all religions and create pathways to understand the mysteries and the marvels hidden in people’s ways of relating to God? God, being omnipresent, does not know how to be absent. Let us see what will happen to our lives when we listen silently to the God of all humanity in love and follow the all-encompassing divine road map we may see in silence.

Won’t it be right for us to choose to silently befriend the whole of creation trying to converse and commune with us? Let us see what will happen to our lives when we silently listen to the non-speaking realities of the universe, in love and understand the simple nonverbal messages we hear in silence.

If we become fluent in the mother tongue of God, we will sooner or later hear in silence that we are Abba’s beloveds and get energized and empowered to put the building of God’s kingdom on a fast track.

 

Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.”  Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.

Comments

Mathew Chennakudy, Feb 18 2022 - 6:56pm
Covid gives enough opportunity and time to silently listen to the non-speaking realities of the universe! Thank you for this wonderful article Fr. Ittoop!
Cyrilla, Feb 18 2022 - 7:06pm
Silence- God's mother tongue! Beautiful...
In Silence is fulness, plenitude,richness, depth ..
Wonder and amazement.
Let me enjoy silence as much as (or more)I enjoy noise .
Very perceptive.Enjoying it.
Sr. Fatima Rebello, Feb 19 2022 - 11:08pm
Thank you Fr.Ittoop for this Solid Article on SILENCE. Not only did i relish it but also deepened my concept of pure silence. Please send it to the Speaking Tree of TOI....so that a wider circle of readers will get it.
Praying for you.
Jolly SVD, Feb 22 2022 - 12:09pm
Very thought-provoking article of SILENCE.. the language of God.... God speaks.
Jolly SVD
Jency , Feb 22 2022 - 6:28pm
Fr. Ittoop, Very inspiring!! Yes silence within self helps to awaken all 5 senses and which lead to God.......
Annamani Joy, Feb 24 2022 - 2:24pm
Hi Fr Ittoop Chettan very good message about silence Thank U Please remember us in your prayers namani and Joy
Enid Fernandes, Feb 25 2022 - 2:15am
Fr. Ittoop, your article on silence speaks volumes. True, we can build a harmonious world for ourselves if we listen to the divine wisdom within us in the silence of our hearts. The language of silence is lost in today's world but can become alive by creating it around us and it only comes through awareness.
angela, Feb 26 2022 - 11:48am
How true .Silence allows awareness and this takes us deep and we are our true selves with one language and then sometimes we may need to speak but our silence will tell us when we need to do so. Thanks Ittoop . As always it,s a breath of fresh air.
angela, Feb 26 2022 - 11:50am
As usual a breath of fresh air. Silence leads to awareness and takes us deep and then if we need to speak from our true self , Silence will tell us when and how..
olive, Mar 01 2022 - 6:10pm
The marvellous way you have written this article will make many want to practice silence and build God's kingdom. I feel a great desire for silence and feel enthusiastic to practice it knowing that something beautiful will happen
Deepti , Mar 03 2022 - 1:39pm
Dear Ittoop,
What a profound article! Words come out from the depth of truth . Truly inspiring and worth meditating.



Jomon James , Mar 04 2022 - 10:28am
Yes Fr. Ittoop its true its in silence alone the lord has spoken to me. Very good and well reflected article. Sorry the reply is delayed. Congrats. Fr. Ittoop