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.