Sacred Places Journal
19 September 2001
London. A London of gray skies and Union Jacks at half mast.
My pilgrimage begins in silence. The silence of a contemplative prayer group at St. Mary's parish church, Balham, in south London. Surrounded by mural scenes from the life of Christ, we sit around flickering candles. "Silence is the most resounding word," the sign says.
Silent, still, sitting open to God for half an hour. "The world has changed since last we met," the leader says. "And we have seen repeatedly this week the power of silence to say what no words can express. As Christ was silent before his accusers, so silence can stand against the evil of our day."
Another thirty minutes. We complete the hour of silence. An hour of openness before God to make us channels for his grace to flow into all the world. Has there ever been a time when the world was more in need of his grace? Perhaps not. But there have been many, many times when the need was as great. And his grace was always been sufficient. It is just some of these times I shall be seeking out on my journey.
We gather around the teapot and talk of the strength of silence and of community. "Silence is the most resounding word."