Silence: Entrée to Our Heart-Song

St. Isaac says, “Silence is the language of the age to come.”  Going beyond this thoughtful sentence, we know that in heaven the seraphim constantly sing, “Holy, holy, holy.”  We might say that we need to be silent to access the music of heaven, the “Holy, holy, holy” refrain that continues to be background music in our soul.   Yes, angels continually sing in our souls, if we have ears to hear.  If we are silent enough to truly listen.

Silence is the entrée to heaven, the music of heaven, the heavenly music that lifts our soul to an entirely new plane of awareness.  So, we might say that through silence we become music.  We embody the music that we are.  We each have a unique song, melody, harmony that only we can sing.  We each have a “Holy, holy, holy” song in our heart that harmonizes with the angels.

When we are our real selves, our particular “song” blends with the music of all the others and becomes the Divine Symphony we call the Body of Christ.

Silence is a choice.  If we don’t proactively choose silent times, still moments, then noise muffles the music. We can choose between inner noise, anxiety, or inner melody.

Perhaps awareness of our breath, out heartbeat is the easy access to our inner silence, our heart-song.  Then, through Christ, our very movements become our song.  Our thoughts, in Christ, become our music.  Our choices, made to do His Desires, become our musical expression.  Our very being can slowly become a beautifier of the cosmos, a melody like no other.

Silence provides the entrée to our inner universe, the echo chamber of our heart-song.

Albert S. Rossi, Ph.D., teaches courses in pastoral theology at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary. After teaching at Pace University for 24 years, he retired as Associate Professor of Psychology. You can hear more of Dr. Rossi on Ancient Faith Radio.

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2 responses to “Silence: Entrée to Our Heart-Song

  1. “Silence provides the entrée to our inner universe, the echo chamber of our heart-song.”

    Beautiful! Thank you for this reflection, Dr. Rossi.

  2. Adrian B.

    Thank you for posting this, Dr. Rossi!
    To add, from my humble readings:
    The “Apophthegmata” are abundant in examples and models of silence, showing it as a virtue to be acquired gradually, through exercise and struggle. Abba Agathon is probably the best known illustration for going to the limit, as he was portrayed in the Alphabetic Collection: living “with a stone in his mouth” for three years, “until he had learned to keep silence”. One could easily relate this saying to the story of Demosthenes, using stones for rhetorical purposes – to be able to speak better. The story of Abba Agathon was an indirect indication on how difficult it was to achieve, but also how important the virtue of silence was, as the same Abba stated that, “No passion is worse than an uncontrolled tongue, because it is the mother of all passions” . We read about Abba Sisoes (5) that for thirty years he was praying to God not for his faults but, “Lord Jesus Christ, save me from my tongue”.
    Speaking could easily trigger a monk’s pride (especially when teaching others), thus fasting in words was also seen as necessary, bringing the monk to true virtue. Abba Zeno (8) worked in silence, but “the Faster” – a man from the village with a great reputation in abstaining from foods – could not suffer silence when visiting him, but “began to get bored”, not being able to talk to him and felt his heart “as if it were on fire”; Abba Zeno told him that “in the village you fed yourself through the ears”, even if he did not eat any food the entire day. He recommended him silence and secrecy in all his deeds