The Lord can hear the human voice in any form, whether the word is spoken, or formulated only in the mind.
There is no need to shout to make oneself heard by Him, nor continually to repeat his name so that he will lend an ear to our prayer. He does not have our defects of physical or spiritual deafness.
It is possible that he always hears everything, but that he answers in ways that we can grasp only when he wishes. That is a freedom we cannot deny him.
When believers think of prayer, in terms of current forms of religion, they tend to think of it as spoken prayer, liturgical or pastoral, but they know very well that silent prayer, especially when not organised, not precisely structured, is also valid, precious and acceptable to God.
Indeed it is certain that God hears and responds, in His own way, to prayers, and to spontaneous outbursts, whether expressed in words or not, that are actually prayers.
The Lord of Silence is also the Lord of silent prayer, of the movement of the soul, of the sigh of faith or anguish, of the cry of desperation, of pure thought, of intimate promise, of religious intuition.
The meeting of His silence with our silence is religion.
Verbania, 30 VIII 1991
Thou hast made me known to friends whom I knew not.
Thou hast given me seats in homes not my own.
Thou hast brought the distant near and made a brother of the stranger.
Rabindranath Tagore, Gitanjali.
Please send any suggestions for alternative translations of any of these meditations to Simon Grant.