St. John of the Cross has a beautiful line in his poem Spiritual Canticle where he references “silent music.” In his commentary on the poem, he explains that this paradox of sound refers to the harmony of creation. All that God has created, the earth and seas, wind and elements, creatures and plants, and above all human beings, combine to form a unity of diversity that can be best compared to music. And yet no actual sound is heard.
This unity is achieved only when all is under the influence of grace. Since the fall of mankind at the beginning, there has been discord. The silent music St. John hears has been in competition with blaring cacophony. The order of the universe which might be compared to the rhythm and meter of music has been out of sync from the beat of the Heart of God. The plan of God for the well being of His creation has been attacked throughout history and so the melody is often an unrecognizable jumble of tones. And the diversity which originally showed the infinite wisdom of His providence has been manipulated and poised against itself in seeming irreconcilable discord with little trace of His intended harmony. (more…)