The meaning of the Silent Heart.
Our faith is an affair of the heart. This doesn’t mean that it is a private matter. On the contrary, it touches the depth in everyone, and so it is what brings us most profoundly together.
In minds, in behavior, in the talk, in being, and in any kind of relations.
All of these suggest quietness, hiddenness, interiority. These are not the qualities of the face; they are the qualities of the heart. And as Saint-Exuperéy said, “only the heart sees the essence.”
So what can we identify as the Silent Heart? In this frustrating world, We really are in need of a Silent Heart.
In 2014 Bille August made this Movie “Silent Heart” (Danish: Stille hjerte, Quiet heart), starring Ghita Nørby, Morten Grunwald, Paprika Steen, and Jens Albinus. The film was nominated for the 2015 Nordic Council Film Prize.
Thus the movie is about a family of three generations who gather over a weekend to say goodbye to Esther (Ghita Nørby) who suffers from an incurable disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and with the help of her husband Poul (Morten Grunwald) has chosen to pursue euthanasia when the weekend is over.
But as the end approaches, the mother’s decision becomes more and more difficult to handle for the daughters Heidi (Paprika Steen) and Sanne (Danica Curcic), and old conflicts come to the surface.
But a Silent Heart can also be identified as a “silent” heart attack.
About half of all heart attacks are mistaken for less serious problems and can increase your risk of dying from coronary artery disease.
You can have a heart attack and not even know it. A silent heart attack, known as a silent myocardial infarction (SMI), account for 45% of heart attacks and strike men more than women.
They are described as “silent” because when they occur, their symptoms lack the intensity of a classic heart attack, such as extreme chest pain and pressure; stabbing pain in the arm, neck, or jaw; sudden shortness of breath; sweating, and dizziness.
A silent heart attack is a heart attack that has few if any, symptoms or has symptoms you don’t recognize as a sign of a heart attack. You might not have chest pain or shortness of breath, which are typically associated with a heart attack.
People who have a silent heart attack might later recall that they had indigestion, the flu, or a strained chest muscle. But a silent heart attack, like any heart attack, involves blockage of blood flow to your heart and possible damage to the heart muscle.
But what if we take this silence into a psychological effect? Here we can recognize a better solution for our life. Every meditation we are doing made us with a Silent Heart.
The silence of the heart means that your heart is not constantly longing for things it doesn’t have, but that it rejoices in what it is, what it does have, and in the purpose that God has put in that heart. It’s a heart like that of Saint Augustine when he cries, “I am restless until I rest in you, Oh my God! In God is my soul at rest.”
I have struggled my whole life, it seems, with worry, fear, anger, impatience, and struggles in prayer — and I’m now struggling with being a spouse and parenting, teaching kids, and running an international ministry. I finally realized that now, somehow, the flight to give my heart to God has finally begun to take effect.
“The mind doesn’t see the essence; only the heart sees the essence,” wrote Saint-Exuperéy in The Little Prince. When we hear the word ‘heart’ we immediately think of the emotion of love. But in the Scriptures the heart has a much broader meaning than this: it refers to the whole inner life of a person. It is the opposite of the face, where everything appears. “Do not keep judging by appearances,” said Jesus, “let your judgment be according to what is right” (John 7:24).
The heart may seem very local and limited, very private and shy, but it touches the heart of the whole world and all ages. Our faith goes even further: it tells us our heart can touch the heart of God.
Contemplation does not mean thinking and turning things over in our minds.
‘Simple’ does not necessarily mean easy. We are more at home with a degree of complexity. Try being completely silent for an hour with one of your friends; you will be aware of a constant urge to break into the conversation – which is much more complex than silence.
The silence that is contemplation requires a certain vigilance, alertness that keeps the wandering mind from running away with us. We tend to be a little afraid of silence: unwelcome memories tend to flood into the empty space, or we become restless and feel we should be doing something useful instead of sitting here doing nothing. To persevere with it, we need to believe in its value. What is its value?
In this context, we usually mean silence of the mind. But there is also a need for the silence of the heart. Left to itself, the mind would settle like a dish of water. But the restlessness of the heart keeps it agitated. There is a kind of unfocused ‘wanting’ in us: we want something, but we don’t know what we want; we just want to be occupied. We want to be occupied because we want to avoid the great silence….
We have eyes only for what is missing: we look for the usual aids to distraction – TV, DVDs, magazines…, and a couch for napping. They are nowhere to be found. But if we allow ourselves to stay there and become accustomed to it, we begin to appreciate the room itself. The word ‘room’ means space, so a room that is cluttered with things is less a room! If we remain faithful to a practice of contemplation we begin to realize a great spaciousness in our own being.
In this way, contemplation means going willingly into that silence. That’s what we are doing in the process of meditation. We get a Silent Heart.
If we take our situation of this world, it’s the opposite of silence. People have very difficulty getting the Silence of Heart that both our body and mind have use for. Our children get frustrated, we get frustrated, and the violence takes a storm around the world because, without silence, there is no way to take it calmly.
And when the world is without calm, it’s so easy to make wars and other settlements between people. Especially in this time of human existence with all our social media and the lightspeed of digital technology.
People are going against people, and even some are trying to give the Silence Hearts to the world, will nobody hear it. Let’s going back to the movie “Silent Heart”, we are all living in this contest.
The dilemma is, we are all today living without a “Silent Heart”.
I think we should work together to get the Silent Heart back to World, back to our community, and back to human life.