God is Heard in the Silence of the Heart
The very heart of Orthodox monasticism is found in hesychia, that is, keeping stillness.The hesychast denies in order to affirm. Based on Christ’s injunction in the Gospel of Saint Matthew to “go into your closet to pray”, in tradition has been the process of retiring inward by ceasing to register the senses, in order to achieve an experiential knowledge of God.Saint Issac the Syrian says it is better to acquire inner purity than to convert the whole world of heathens from error. The Venerable Issac is not discounting missionary work, but simply saying that unless we acquire a peaceful heart, nothing else can be accomplished.
In this world filled with noise, we must make time for silence, for God speaks to us in the silence of our heart. This seeking after silence is not world-denying but world-embracing.
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