Besides literally quoting the silence of biblical figures, in what way does silence mimic God? Here, interestingly enough, Cardinal Sarah’s thought shares something with the French mystic-philosopher Simone Weil’s notion of “The Void.” Weil explained in Gravity and Grace: “All the natural movements of the soul are controlled by laws analogous to those of physical gravity. Grace is the only exception. Grace fills empty spaces, but it can only enter where there is a void to receive it, and it is grace itself which makes this void. The imagination is continually at work filling up all the fissures through which grace might pass.”
The cultivation of this interior void, a renunciation of self in order to let God enter, is itself, Weil thought, a parallel to God’s own original creative act and the crucifixion of Christ. Weil’s “void” and Sarah’s “silence” seem to me to be analogous. As Sarah writes, “In reality, true, good silence always belongs to someone who is willing to let others have his place, and especially the Completely-Other, God. In contrast, external noise characterizes the individual who wants to occupy too important a place, to strut or show off, or else who wants to fill his interior emptiness….” Both the void and the silence are interior spaces we create in order to let God find us. They are the same space.
Writer - Critic - Poet - Editor