Chapter Six of the Carmelite Rule asks us to work in silence. Carmelite scholar Kees Waaijman explains in his book, The Mystical Space of Carmel, that silence is far more than the absence of audible noise:
Silence is not just about time or place but about the character of work and communication. To work in silence is to turn off the applause machine. It is to trust in the horizon of the future, beyond one’s own time – and indicate that horizon to others. It is to work with intentionality without needing evident, creditable results. We work in the present, not for the present. When we do this, creativity is transformed into hope – specifically hope for those who are hopeless, shattered by their own present experience with no way out.
To be a prophet is not to predict the future, but to be a messenger of the future to which God calls us, a messenger of truth, hope, and justice. A prophet calls God’s people to a transformation that will allow conscious life to evolve towards God’s future. Silence is essential to this prophetic witness.