Often when I practice silence I get distracted. To refocus I use what Thomas Keating called a sacred word, a word that I can gently return to in my mind. The word I've been using is love, because it's the reason I practice silence in the first place. I want to put myself in a position where grace can shape me into a person who increasingly loves like God loves. I have used it countless times but when I used it today something simple and sublime happened. When I said the word love, it was like a single, solitary raindrop struck the interior of my heart and a great ripple of love raced across my chest. The only way I can describe it, is to say that it felt like the purest and most potent form of joy, a kind of eternal joy. It made me want to become fire, to burn with love, to scorch away all my impurities and once and for all become free. 

Jonathan R. BaileySilence, Joy