In the Kingdom of God, it is deeds that count, not words. Some of the most Christian events are conducted without words. I once lived with two old Jesuits, Piaras (who was passionate about Irish) and Willie (who was passionate about exercise). They had warm hearts behind exteriors that might have seemed crotchety to a stranger. In fact they seemed crotchety to one another. After years of increasingly cross exchanges, they lapsed into silence with one another, and stopped talking. They could get away with it in a large community. Willie, the older of the two, used spend part of his morning collecting firewood outside and bringing it to his fireplace. But in his late eighties, as he grew more bent and feeble, this became too hard for him. It was as much as he could do to walk outside, much less collect and carry.
One morning he came back from his walk to find his fire made up, and a stack of dry wood beside it. The pattern was repeated, day after day. Piaras had noticed the plight of his old sparring partner, and every day gathered a bundle for him. No words were exchanged. Instead Willie would use his morning walk, once a week, to visit the corner shop and buy a bag of Piaras’s favourite sweets. Every Friday he would leave them at Piaras’s door, without a word. So the exchange went on, firewood for sweets, week by week till Willie lapsed into his final illness. Piaras came to make peace with him, but talk was unnecessary. They had made up long before, without words.