Notes on a chapter for SILENCE

“God spoke His eternal word in silence, and He wishes us to receive His words in silence. ”

Thomas Merton, The Monastic Journey.  NY: Image Books, 1977.

…so the chapter to draft after the one on WORDS, is the one on SILENCE.

Yes, it is time for a chapter on Silence. It is now time to write our second chapter and I have chosen this wreath themed on coffee because I love the combination of darkness, a candle, coffee and silence.  Tomorrow we will look at my sample chapter on silence but for now, read through these quotes and google some of your own.  Just recall the writers and thinkers you love and google their names alongside “silence” and see what you find.  Make a notes page for each of your chapters and make a file (paper or computer) called “Rule of Life Chapter notes” tilting each page “notes on …” so that you can always go back to the notes and quotes when you rewrite your chapters.  But do not try, much as you love these quotes, to push them all into your chapter or it will not be YOUR words but rather a quilt of those of others.  Your chapter is not 600 words on how well you research or how well-read you are.  It is 600 words on your topic to guide you in your life back to your path.  So today, consider what you think about silence.  Write your own thoughts down in note form BEFORe you begin researching.  You may find that what you think is the best quote of all.  At he end, you will find the standard questions so that you may begin outlining your chapter on SILENCE.

We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature – trees, flowers, grass- grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence… We need silence to be able to touch souls.
Mother Teresa

“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and rightdoing there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass
the world is too full to talk about.”
― Rumi

Entering the Silence: Becoming a Monk and Writer.  The Journals of Thomas Merton. Volume 2:1941-1952.  Jonathan Montaldo, ed.  San Francisco: HarperCollins Publishers, 1996.
March 19, 1948 – God hidden within me.  I find Him by hiding in the silence in which He is concealed.  187

January 8, 1950 – Preaching God implies silence.  If preaching is not born of silence, it is a waste of time.  Writing and teaching must be fed by silence or they are a waste of time.  /  There are many declarations made only because we think other people are expecting us to make them.  The silence of God should teach us when to speak and when not to speak.  But we cannot bear the thought of that silence, lest it cost us the trust and respect of men.  396

Thoughts In Solitude.  Boston: Shambala Publications, Inc., 1993.  (originally published 1958)
Prayer is then not just a formula of words, or a series of desires springing up in the heart – it is the orientation of our whole body, mind and spirit to God in silence, attention, and adoration.

The Monastic Journey.  NY: Image Books, 1977.
God spoke His eternal word in silence, and He wishes us to receive His words in silence.

Anything you want to ask a teacher, ask yourself, and wait for the answer in silence.
Byron Katie

It is strange to be here. The mystery never leaves you alone. Behind your image, below your words, above your thoughts, the silence of another world waits. A world lives within you. No one else can bring you news of this inner world.
John O’Donohue

Silence is Golden; it has divine power and immense energy. Try to pay more attention to the silence than to the sounds.  Paying attention to outer silence creates inner silence: the mind becomes still. Every sound is born out of silence, dies back into silence, and during its life span is surrounded by silence. Silence enables the sound to be. It is an intrinsic but unmanifested part of every sound, every musical note, every song, and every word. The unmanifested is present in this world as silence.  All you have to do is pay attention to it.
Eckhart Tolle

The silence is all there is. It is the alpha and the omega. It is God’s brooding over the face of the waters; it is the blended note of the ten thousand things, the whine of wings. You take a step in the right direction to pray to this silence, and even to address the prayer to “World.” Distinctions blur. Quit your tents. Pray without ceasing. Annie Dillard


What do you see in scripture, church tradition or reason regarding this topic?

What do you see in yourself regarding this topic?

What are your goals for how your life will express this topic?

What measures will you take to encourage the goals you have set for yourself (people, resources, checks and balances, boundaries, etc.)?

What do you seek from God in assistance regarding this topic?

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