Silence Like A Cancer Grows

The prophetic words, “silence like a cancer grows,” are found in the haunting lyrics of the song “The Sounds Of Silence” by Simon and Garfunkel. Notice that the word “sounds” as used in the song title is plural? How many sounds does silence make? Asked differently, how many voices do we hear when we are silent? Today I want to write about a very strange paradox. God once used the silence of a retreat to warn me about the danger of silence. Strange isn’t it? In its dangerous form, silence is like a cancer. Today I will pass the warning on to you. Read more…

My life was forever changed in 2011 when I took time to spend eight days in silence with God. The following paragraph is written at the bottom of each week’s 4th Day Letter:

“Brian, a lifelong Catholic, felt his life was forever changed when God spoke to his heart while attending an eight day silent Christian retreat in November of 2011. Soon after that retreat Brian founded 4th Day Letters and Broken Door Ministries.”

This week’s message marks the sixth anniversary of my silent retreat. I have a very important message and a personal request that I want to make today.

Allow me to borrow again from the song’s lyrics, with my own slight adaptation, to describe my retreat experience:

Because a vision softly creeping

Left its seeds while I was weeping

And the vision that was planted in my brain

Still remains

Warn all people

About the sounds of silence

The following paragraph was excerpted from one of my earliest letters, written on November 22, 2011:

“No human words can explain the experience I just had during my eight day silent retreat. I wish there was some way with today’s technological capabilities to capture and express how on fire my heart is for the love of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Over these past six years, I have written extensively about our wounded and broken human condition. It is not the fact that we are wounded and broken that is so dangerous. The real danger is that we are unwilling to seek help by telling others about our wounds and brokenness. Pride keeps us silent, and our silence gives a deeper meaning to the song’s lyrics: “Hello darkness, my old friend, I’ve come to talk with you again.”

It really doesn’t matter whether our wounds and brokenness were caused by others, by unfortunate circumstances of life or by our own sins. As a rule, most people out of shame, pride or embarrassment, prefer to keep silent about the real things that are troubling them. We live in a world where, “In restless dreams we walked alone.” We struggle to communicate on the important matters of life. People are “talking without speaking” and they are “hearing without listening.”

I was one of those people, and for 42 years I had held my struggles in total silence. That was, until God spoke to my heart on that retreat. His message was essentially this: “Fool said He, You do not know, silence like a cancer grows.” I heard this message in my heart. “Brian you can’t be healed if you don’t tell someone you are broken.” Essentially His reassuring words were these: “Hear my words that I might teach you” and “take my arms that I might reach you.” And with His promptings Broken Door Ministries was born.

Over these past six years I have attempted to reach Christians all over the world with my weekly messages and I have been blessed to lead retreats and give talks all around the United States. I have personally witnessed the life changing response people have had to the message that God has written on my heart. Upon hearing the retreat’s message, many people often break their lifelong silence and reveal their inner wounds to me, and their healing begins.

Here are two testimonials from my most recent retreat:

“St. Peter’s Parish in Rosendale, NY was greatly blessed with a retreat given by Brian Pusateri of Broken Door Ministry. The retreat was truly a moment of grace for all. I am very happy to support such a mission. I would recommend it to other parishes.”- Father Ed Burke

“Brian opens himself to all and helped us see that our brokenness isn’t a deterrent to God’s love and healing. Our retreat was truly a special day.”- Maryann Becker

I have committed myself to answer God’s call and to spend the remainder of my life sharing the important message He gave me with as many people as possible. Dear friends, silence, as it pertains to holding our struggles inside, is a cancer.

I have a personal request to make. I am asking every reader to consider inviting me to your church, parish or Christian gathering to share this important message. Would you please speak to whoever is in charge of retreats and bringing in speakers and ask them to invite me to come and spend time with your group. There is no fee! I know the Holy Spirit is changing the lives of those who hear this message. This is one thing that you don’t want to remain silent about.

Please don’t pass this opportunity by. I need your help to get this message out. Act today! May God bless you!

Father, you both speak to us in silence and warn us about the dangers of silence. Inspire me to take action. Help me to spread this message with others who desperately need to hear it. Amen!

As always, I love to read your comments below as well as hear from you personally by clicking here.

Brian Pusateri
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  1. Klaus Heinrich on October 18, 2019 at 9:23 am

    Thank you, Brian, for this Christian interpretation of the Simon and Garfunkel song we will sing with our choir today in a concert at a school for diabled children
    Yours, Fr Dr. Klaus Heinrich Neuhoff, Kassel

    • Brian Pusateri on October 18, 2019 at 9:44 am


      You are most welcome. May God’s blessings surround your event.


  2. Tommy Smith on November 29, 2017 at 8:16 pm

    Brian your best yet. What a spot on message.

    • Brian Pusateri on November 30, 2017 at 12:27 am


      Thanks for your kind remarks. May God’s blessings be with you.


  3. James Meersman on November 28, 2017 at 10:10 am

    Brian: Thank You for sharing this very special message. I am so glad that I have got to know you and I look forward to your letter every week. May God continue to bless you in this ministry. I wish you and your family a very Holy Christmas and another year filled with the blessings of your ministry. Thank You! Jim Meersman

    • Brian Pusateri on November 28, 2017 at 10:49 am


      Thank you for your kind words. I in turn pray that you and your family have a blessed Advent and Christmas season.


  4. Joe Mauriello on November 28, 2017 at 5:54 am

    I am not in charge of anything in order to invite you, but your words ring true.
    Always loved that song but never understood it.
    I just googled it and it all ties in: no communication.
    We all indulge in just plain gibberish about politics, sports, and nothing of substance–all the time.
    The real issues are never discussed and people wallow and die in their own silence and inner frustrations.
    Christ said there will be no secrets, no silences.
    Thank you for bearing witness to the main issue of our times: honest confrontation of the reality of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
    I pray for Broken Door Ministries.

    Your brother in Christ,
    Joe Mauriello

    • Brian Pusateri on November 28, 2017 at 6:35 am


      Thank you for your post. It’s funny but I never looked up what the song’s real meaning was. I simply wrote about how the song spoke to me. Thanks for sharing. God bless. Thanks for your prayers.


      • Peter Greko on December 16, 2017 at 7:56 am

        Your comments on communication with fellow Christians is so important. All Christians should be in community, just as God, in the Trinity, is in community. Whether it is called Base Community, Cell Groups, etc. it is important to join and talk, communicate our brokeness, our successes, our coming closer to Christ. I know that my Cursillo group is very important to me. I truly love my brothers in my weekly gathering, and miss the Christian fellowship when I’m unable to attend. They are my brothers and I’m able to communicate with them about all my failures, successes, and my journey to Jesus. They support me in my walk.
        Thank you for all you do, my friend,

        Pete Greko

        • Brian Pusateri on December 16, 2017 at 10:06 am

          Thanks for posting and sharing your great insight!


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