The highest soaring of the intellect is that deliberate abandonment of itself to the illumination of God. It is in higher exercise when it becomes the instrument of the Divine Wisdom than when, by its own unaided strivings, it wrestles with knowledge, for then it has learnt how to cease from its own eager toil, and be, instead, a listener.
God is great. So great, so transcendent, that the glory of His Presence penetrates the world. Our nature is so fashioned for God that the Divine Presence fills our whole being, body, soul, and spirit. Man, like earth, is crammed with God. … in the very centre of his being there is the secret chamber of the Presence, of which the Christ spoke when He said, “Enter into thy chamber, and shut to the door (Matthew 6:6).” If you will be content to take pains to retire within yourself, to be still, to be alone, to expel one by one from your consciousness all interrupting sounds, and the thoughts of daily life, if you will retire into your inmost self, and there shut the door against distractions, within your own heart you will find God.
And what is God if not a voice!
That is God as Christians know Him. You cannot be in the Presence of God, or at least you cannot wake to the consciousness of the Divine Presence, and not receive the speech of God. When other sounds have been made to cease, when the busy and restless brain has been stilled, and the whole nature, by deliberate and constant practice, silenced, then in that silence you will find the speech of God. … He does not frame His messages into the words of any language. The speech of God is communication of Spirit with spirit. That communion lies deeper than words.
There are two ways in which this consciousness of God can be practised. The first is in solitary meditation. Thousands of people in the New World are crying out for meditation. They are weary of a religion which cannot give them the power of an immediate contact with the Unseen … (The Church of the Ages) is the Mother of meditation.
Bring to your meditation nothing but silence; leave behind the busy questioning of the intellect. The revelations in the Holy Word of God lie deeper than the brain; its secrets are not of the intellect… but as you bring your mind and spirit to stillness, to listening silence, beauty, joy, life pass into your being and become your own: you are learning the ways of meditation, yet what is simpler than to listen? To realize one single word of the Eternal Life is enough to fill a year of our noisy restless days.
– Cyril Hepher (1872 – 1931), Canon Residentiary of Winchester Cathedral, Editor
The Fellowship of Silence: Experiences in the Common Use of Prayer Without Words, 1917.
But you, when you pray, go into your room,
and when you have shut your door,
pray to your Father who is in the secret place;
and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.
And while (Jesus) was being accused by the chief priests and elders,
He answered nothing.
Then Pilate said to Him,
“Do You not hear how many things they testify against You?”
But He answered him not one word,
so that the governor marveled greatly.