Assisi,,San,Francesco,Or,Saint,Francis,Basilica,Church,At,Sunset.

Four Practices in Silence

We have two voices in our souls. One is the voice of fool­ishness and fear, which seeks diversions. The other is the voice of truth. How can we listen to the right voice?

1. The first answer is humility. Merton says, in Thoughts on Solitude, that “humility is in all things silent. Even when it speaks, it listens.”

Where do we go for our model of humility? To the Mother of God, the humblest of creatures even though she had the right to be the proudest. She not only models humility for us, she will, by her supremely humble and therefore supremely powerful intercessory prayers, obtain this great grace for us. She is not just a model, she is a mother; not just a “formal cause” but an “efficient cause,” not just a picture but a power. Satan trembles at her.

2. The Eucharist, and Eucharistic adoration, is a supremely powerful silencer and simplifier of the soul. It is totally simple, single, one-pointed, present, and suffi­cient. All we need, all we long for, all our hopes and loves, are right there, in “the source and summit of the Christian life,” as the Catechism says.

3. Monasteries are oases of silence in the deserts of noise. They are not for everyone to live in, but they exist for everyone to profit from. They are not escapes or alter­natives to life; they are lessons in life, special reminders of universal truths. Three of these truths are silence, solitude, and simplicity of heart. We all need these three things, no matter how active and complex our lives may be.

This need for a monasticism of the heart has never been greater. As life becomes more and more complex on the outside, we need, for the survival of our souls, to become more and more simple and silent on the inside, or we will lose our souls as a leaf is lost in the rush of whitewater rapids.

4. Nature also helps us to listen to the silence because nature’s voice is largely silent. Even its temporary noises come from its constant silence and speak of it. Listening to nature is the easiest kind of listening because nature’s voices are not personal and therefore not personally threat­ening (unlike human voices). Nature’s exterior silence impresses itself upon our hearts and produces an interior silence. The depths within respond to the depths without.

However we learn to be silent, we must learn. It is not an option. Without silence, we are doomed. Many say we are doomed if we do not abolish the world’s nuclear arse­nals. Many say we are doomed if we do not stop climate change.

I say we are doomed if we abolish silence. How much moral insanity, how much hate, how much private and public murder and violence would be prevented if every person in the world spent just fifteen minutes each day in simple, solitary, silent contempla­tive prayer? Even three minutes is sufficient to transform your life. The most important seconds are the first ones, where the decision is made.

This article is taken from a chapter in Wisdom of the Heart by Peter Kreeft, which is available from TAN Books.

Share:

Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
LinkedIn
Articles

Related Posts

Meditation On The Scourging At The Pillar

Amidst the thirty-one meditations encapsulating diverse facets of the Lord’s Passion and Death, this particular reflection centers on the agonizing scourging endured by Christ at the pillar. Through vivid imagery and poignant introspection, the meditation invites the devout to witness the excruciating brutality inflicted upon the sinless Savior, evoking a profound sense of empathy and reverence for His sacrificial journey towards redemption.

Read More »

Cultivating Compassion

Saint Albert the great articulates that genuine compassion transcends mere sympathy, extending to all beings in need, regardless of differences or distances. He underscores its dual purpose: to alleviate suffering and to foster a deeper connection with the Divine. And identifies unmistakable signs of compassion, manifested in acts of selfless service and heartfelt empathy. Aspiring to instill this essential virtue in our spiritual journey, Albert offers a fervent prayer, entreating divine guidance in nurturing the boundless compassion within our souls.

Read More »

Zeal for Souls

Within the pages of this illuminating manuscript lies a roadmap to spiritual elevation, guiding readers through a labyrinth of virtues essential for attaining heavenly bliss. Drawing from centuries of wisdom and divine insight, St. Albert imparts timeless teachings that illuminate the path towards profound inner harmony and divine communion. Delve into the depths of the soul and embrace the virtues that pave the way to everlasting serenity and transcendent joy.

Read More »

The Unseen Work Of Your Guardian Angel

Cruz delicately weaves together anecdotes and insights to illuminate the hidden efforts tirelessly undertaken by these celestial beings in safeguarding, guiding, and uplifting individuals throughout their lives. Through Cruz’s poignant narrative, readers are encouraged to develop a heightened awareness of the subtle, yet profound, interventions orchestrated by their guardian angels, fostering a deeper connection to the spiritual realm and a newfound appreciation for the divine protection and guidance ever-present in their lives.

Read More »