it is merely quiet and goes unnoticed most of the time – as anyone who has experienced the unnoticed goodness of an unpresuming silent saint knows…
Evil is not greater than good, it simply makes more noise. Indeed, suffering has a way of dominating our attention and warping our normal perception of things, for it is a very loud signal that something is wrong. We notice when our foot is broken, but we do not notice when we walk.
. . .
God, in His supremely joyful humility, is quite different [than Evil]. He is not concerned with making a fuss. He is content to let good radiate silently and unnoticed from His heart to His creatures. Everyday, in a thousand places He sends gifts to them, causing the sun to rise on the just and the unjust.
Yes, good is very much present. In fact, it is everywhere—it is simply very quiet and very humble. Being, existence itself, is the first good, from which all other gifts flow. But goodness is seen in so much else—in a hearty meal, in a smile, in a kind word, in the sacrifice of a parent for a child, in blue skies on a Spring day, or Sandhill cranes gliding silently overhead.
But while this goodness surrounds us, it is hardly ever noticed. Very often we completely ignore it while we complain about this or that.
And that is the very problem. We have grown so cold to the ocean of goodness in which we swim, in which we live and move and have our being, that we no longer notice it. We never notice it, that is, until it is gone—like a fish does not notice water until he is taken out of it. In short, we do not see goodness because it is the rule. We only notice suffering because it is the exception.
Now, there are men and women who are attuned to this ever-present good. They revel in it and to offer for it a sacrifice of praise. These men and women are the happiest among us, and not a few of them are known as saints.
. . .
[T]he simple truth is that we can never be grateful enough. We can never be fully aware of just how good things really are. If we were, this knowledge would crush us under the weight of its glory. But we can learn to sense the silent presence of goodness through thanksgiving.
Let us then begin to offer a sacrifice of praise for all good things, despite our sufferings in the vale of tears. Let us say with the angels and saints and all the host of heaven, Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever, because you have created all things, and for your will they were, and have been created. Amen.
Look around you for those people who silently do the good God asks of us. I promise they are more common than you think, though they may appear gray at first glance…