How do you know when someone is a great friend, or perhaps even someone to pursue a relationship with? Most people would say it has something to do with being able to communicate well, and I wouldn’t dispute that. But one thing that is often overlooked is that a truly great friend is someone you can be silent with – someone you trust enough to simply be still in their presence. From Metropolitan Anthony Bloom’s Courage to Pray, p. 42-43.
An encounter does not become deep and full until the two parties to it are capable of being silent with one another. As long as we need words and actions, tangible proof, this means we have not reached the depth and fulness we seek. We have not experienced the silence which enfolds two people in common intimacy. It goes deep down, deeper than we knew we were, an inner silence where we encounter God, and with God and in God our neighbor.
In this state of silence we do not need words to feel close to our companion, to communicate with him in our deepest being, beyond ourselves to something which unites us. And when the silence is deep enough, we can begin to speak from its depths, but carefully and cautiously so as not to break it by the noisy disorder of our words. Then our thought is contemplative.