[The Lord of Silence: general index]

21    Silence and Introspection

Becoming conscious of the psychological and spiritual darkness, in which one debates within oneself far from God, is a freeing fact in itself. Recognising the source and nature of the thousand lights which distract and blind us is a positive fact. To succeed in walking in the paths of life without having recourse to artificial light leads us sooner or later to meet the true fountain of universal and eternal light coming directly from God and found in the divine spark within each one of us. To experiment with the kind of search most suitable for lighting up this spark is spiritually intelligent, and our duty as well.

Whoever has tried out silent worship finds in its best moments, which are not rare, the experience of seeing within himself or herself as through the transparent walls of a room lit up with natural, spiritual light. Our true motives and the ends towards which we are proceeding appear in clear relief. Our feelings, thoughts and needs undergo an otherwise impossible cleansing.

This internal change which precedes an outer one corresponds exactly to the "new birth" promised by Jesus.

Verbania, 5 VII 1991

Since my life is so full of falsity, I should forgive the falsity used against me. Since I have myself on many occasions been lacking in love and guilty of calumny, deceit, or arrogance, I should forgive every shortcoming in love and every form of hatred, deceit, and arrogance ... We should wage the war against the evil in humanity not by judging others, but ourselves. That respect for life which I apply to myself and makes me look with tenderness at beings different from me will be shared by others.

Adapted from Albert Schweitzer, Civilization and Ethics.

Translation by George T. Peck

[Original Italian]

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