Saturday, March 6, 2021

The Silence of the Cross: At the anniversary of the pandemic

As we celebrate this Sunday of the Veneration of the Cross, marking the half-way point of the Great Fast, let's reflect for a moment on the silence of the Cross. Though Jesus spoke much in His public ministry, when it comes time for His passion and death, He is almost completely silent. The offering of Himself is greater than words. The mystery is veiled and reverenced by silence. 

It also happens that we come now to the one-year anniversary of the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States and a year full of many types of sad divisions. Of course, in the face of conflict, sometimes we must be courageous and speak up, but often we are invited by God to make an offering of ourselves in silent suffering. This offering is one He often asks monastics to make, but He asks you as well. One of the nuns of our monastery recently wrote this poem, and she shares it with you to encourage you in those moments when the greatest offering you can make is a gift of exterior and interior silence in the face of division.

The Power of Silence

This opinion

I hold so dear;

the stance I stake,

confident in my correctness;

that argument

which will trounce

the illogic of my opponents—

what if

I offered them all

as a holocaust

in the silent flames

on the altar of the Your Heart?

What if,

thus stripped,

I willingly joined myself

to the failure of Your Cross?

Not by words

are the powers of the earth subdued,

but by love

speechless as the Lamb.                    

Then let me not strive

to make my point

or build a case.

Let me not fight

noise with noise.

Let me be humble

in all I think I know.

The universe wordlessly

declares Your glory.

My self-satisfied assertions

add nothing.

Even true words

can drown out Your Voice:

In quietness and trust

shall be your strength.

Be still and know

that I am God.

So as the conflict

roars around me,

and Your Body is torn

by division and pride,

accept my silence

as healing oil

poured over You

like nard

from the emptied vessel

of my heart.


  1. So very beautiful! Thank you for sharing!

  2. May I, please, have your permission to share this poem with my church? I will acknowledge your source before reading it if you will permit me to do so. Thank you for your consideration.

    1. We're so sorry that we are just seeing this comment now. Yes! You are welcome to share it! God bless you!


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