Sometimes I simply have nothing to say…

…to others, to myself, to God. The conversation just grows quiet. At such times when the wilderness seems to embrace and enters deeper within, I often find that other voices, other wisdom, Otherness asserts. It is a time for listening with the ears of ones heart, it seems. These times are more often than not accompanied by a sense of very serious turmoil, acutely so, wherein emptiness has something definitive to say. Today was one of those days…

Insofar as we are disciples of Christ, we want Him to be the one whom the Zacchaeuses of today encounter. I too, even while working on this book – I am a priest, after all – asked myself what it really means these days to bring someone closer to Christ, and, through Christ, closer to God. I don’t think it is quite as easy as certain enthusiastic Christians believe. A priest must not become an agitator, a propagandist, someone with pat slogans who is skilled at manipulating others. His role should be to accompany others, to “put them in the picture,” to bring them to the gates of mystery, rather than to “win them over” in the way that politicians or traders draw attention to their latest wares.

This must be also apparent in the way we address others. It must be audible and discernible from the very way we speak and the language we use. After all, our language is the fruit of our heart’s persuasion. If our language is not empty prattle or mindless production of clichés, it is itself a deed that can do much good. In that sense, “by their fruits shall us know them” applies to the very way we speak.

– Tomáš Halík, Patience with God


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