Do not grieve for me, my child, but struggle ardently. Struggle in silence, prayer, and mourning, and you will find the elements of eternal life. Compel yourself: close your mouth both in joy and in mourning. This is a mark of experience, so that both states are kept safely. For the mouth does not know how to guard riches. Silence is the greatest and most fruitful virtue; for this reason the God-bearing Fathers called it sinlessness.
Silence and stillness, one and the same thing. The first divine fruit of silence is mourning—godly sorrow, joyful sadness. Afterwards come luminous thoughts, which bring the holy flow of life-streaming tears, through which the second baptism † occurs and by which the soul is purified, shines, and becomes like the angels. Where shall I place, child of Jesus, the spiritual visions springing forth from silence? How the eyes of the intellect are opened and see Jesus with sweetness greater than that of honey! What a novel wonder is worked from lawful silence and an attentive intellect! You know these things, so struggle. I have revealed a little to you; compel yourself and you will find yet greater. I keep you in my prayers just as I promised you. I wonder, are you ready? —- † The Holy Fathers speak of four “baptisms”: (1) the Mystery of Baptism; (2) the baptism of tears of repentance; (3) the baptism of tonsure into the monastic schema; and (4) the baptism of blood, i.e., martyrdom.
subm. no. 11 paragraphs: 5, 6 from pages 207-208 1-6 (sometimes paired in same posting) from pages 211-212
From the book
Councels from the Holy mountain
Selected from the letters and homilies of Elder Efraim of Arizona
Selection of passages from the book by Silviu Podariu
Elder Efraim of Arizona about the importance of Silence