Silence and Holiness
John Telgren

"What profit is the idol when its maker has carved it … Woe to him who says to wood, 'Awake!' To a mute stone, 'Arise!' ... there is no breath at all inside it. But the LORD is in His holy temple. Let all the earth be silent before Him” (Hab. 2:18-20).

"Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you” (James 4:10).

"...but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior” (1 Pet 1:15).

I recently read some simple, yet powerful things about holiness from Teresa of Calcutta. I especially like what she says about the silence of the heart, humility, and prayer.

The passage from Hosea reminds us that God is not a silent, mute idol of wood or stone. He is the living, almighty God, and we should be one who is humbly silent, yielding, and open before Him.

I still feel very new to "silent" prayer where I am simply in His holy presence - humble, open, and yielding. I often do all the talking and then go away. I wish to change this tendency.

When I read that Jesus spent an entire night in prayer, I sometimes wonder if he talked the whole time, or spent time in silent prayer, simply "being with" God, who was a real presence in his life and not just some character in the Bible.

I believe that holiness comes from this attitude of yielding silence before God so I can yield to his will in both attitude and action.

Teresea Says:

"Holiness is not a luxury for the few …It is meant for…all of us. It is a simple duty, because if we learn to love, we learn to be holy.

The first step to becoming holy is to will it. … The words, ‘I want to be holy’ mean: I will divest myself of everything that is not of God; I will divest myself and empty my heart of material things. I will renounce my own will, my inclinations, my whims, my fickleness; and I will become a generous slave to God's will.

With a will that is whole, I will love God, I will opt for Him, I will run toward Him, I will reach Him, I will possess Him. But it all depends on these words: ‘I want’ or ‘I do not want.’ I have to pour all of my energy into the words, ‘I want.’

To become holy, we need humility and prayer. Jesus taught us how to pray, and He also told us to learn from Him to be meek and humble of heart. Neither of these can we do unless we know what silence is. Both humility and prayer grow from an ear, mind, and tongue that have lived in silence with God, for in the silence of the heart God speaks.

Let us really take the trouble to learn the lesson of holiness from Jesus, whose heart was meek and humble. The first lesson from this heart is an examination of our conscience, and the rest -- love and service -- follow at once.”