Why No One Shuts Up

Silence is that terrifying state in which man is present to himself and to others. It is not merely the lack of sound, for it also encompasses interior silence — in which our frantic reels of thought and image cease — and stillness — in which nothing is done. When we are truly silent, we simply are.

Now it’s a known fact that silence between strangers is an awkward silence. Why? Because neither stranger appreciates the other for who he is. Neither knows the other in his being.

To be silent — that is, to simply be – in the presence of one who neither knows or appreciates us as we are is a terrifying thing to the sensitive, and an awkward experience for all. (Imagine the horror if a man just met were to break off chatting and begin to simply be in your presence. McAwkward.) It can be awful to be utterly present to another, and so we make meaningless but necessary noise about the weather, college, and our material status, for we are at heart scared that, if we present ourselves as ourselves, stripped of all speech, action, status, and all that is not purely us — we will be deemed unlovable.

But the silence of lovers is not merely comfortable — it is indulgent. It is good to merely be with your beloved. Indeed, it is popularly considered a sign of true love, if a man can comfortably be silent with his beloved, and she with him. Why? Because this silence indicates a love of the other for who the other is, not for what the other does, says, gives or is useful for. And this love is the only true love: Love of the person as that person. Love delights in no more than the fact that the beloved is. I take all this as self-evident experience, but allow me to quote Pulp Fiction to back it up:

Mia: Don’t you hate that?
Vincent: What?
Mia: Uncomfortable silences. Why do we feel it’s necessary to yak about bullshit in order to be comfortable?
Vincent: I don’t know. That’s a good question.
Mia: That’s when you know you’ve found somebody special. When you can just shut the fuck up for a minute and comfortably enjoy the silence.

When we are truly silent, we simply are. And we can only do this in the presence of someone who we love and who loves us in return, for with them we are safe. We can “be ourselves” in the fullest sense of the term.

But we cannot have silence in the modern world. We are monstrous sinners, and silence, revealing the self to the self, damns us as such. Similarly, in our weak-families, bad-relationships, love-is-what-you-want-it-to-be world, we are not confident that we are loved. Silence will provide us with the answer to this, for — and this is a hell of a sentence coming up — we can only know we are loved for who we are when we become only who we are — when we become silent. When we simply are. But so frightened are we that the answer will be negative — “No one loves me!” — we prefer not to ask the question. We prefer to avoid silence.

This is the same reason everyone loves crappy music at crappy parties. No one’s listening to it, no one cares, but if it were to suddenly cease, in that instant of stunned silence before everyone begins to complain, every self would be revealed to himself and to others. Bad music is necessary to ward off the terror of honesty. Who could be comfortable, in the midst of a party of people gossiping and looking to get laid, to suddenly be, to be the child he still is, to be his most intimate self? Only love is comfortable with silence, and there is little love at an office party. (Depending, of course, on the office.)

And so it goes, elevator music and iPods helpfully filling the gap that screams of Hell.

Perhaps this is why we have the fanatic urge to post every emotional experience we have on Facebook, to instagram every sunset, to tweet every meaningful quote, to constantly avoid simply being, simply experiencing things, but forever outsourcing life to a realm in which in can be validated by others, and — most importantly — talked about, for in our heart of modern hearts we are not certain that our lives have value in and of themselves. We are not certain that our lives have value and meaning as just our lives, that is, in silence. (Perhaps this is why smart-phones make me miserable: Even when I am silent I am not, even when I’m alone I’m connected, and even when my heart is still a weight in my pocket demands me act.)

Our modern language works to abolish silence. The phrases “like”, “you know”, “I feel like”, our ahs, ers, uhs and ums — all these serve to fill those dreadful graves between the sounds we make. Thus, as a general rule, the less sure a man is of himself and of having his self revealed to himself and to others, the more unnecessary noises he’ll cram into his sentences. Thus there are more “likes” in the daily speech of a middle-school girl than can be found in Tolstoy’s War and Peace, and far fewer in the woman approaching death. (Make sense?)

How much we rely on noise to avoid our selves, and to avoid presenting ourselves to others! We ask “how are you?” knowing full well that we don’t care how the other is doing. Why do we ask then? Why, for someone to speak! We ask “how are you?” and the moment the answer begins we sink into our own thoughts, because the point is not to have an answer, but to avoid the terror that is silence, the terror of presenting ourselves to others as we are, and having others do the same. It is not like this if there is love. Love wants to know the answer to the question “How are you?”

Have the point then: Silence does not interrupt noise, noise interrupts silence. Silence is that which is, noise is its absence. Our fear to believe in God exists in precise proportion to our fear of silence. For only in silence is our self present to ourselves and to others, and if there is a God, and if he loves us only as who we are — not for what we do, say, or who we think we are — than we can only experience communion with him in silence. The fear of not being loved makes us prefer to avoid the question “Is there a God who loves me?” We avoid simply being — the only way to ask that question. And so by noise we silence the silent God, and by frantic, constant action still the still, small voice heard only in human stillness.

  • http://www.facebook.com/anna.dawson.9 Anna Dawson

    This makes me think of a Steve Martin scene, and darn I can’t remember the movie, where he says, “I’m going to gift you with five continuous minutes of unbroken eye contact,” much to the dismay of the recipient.

    Also, I imagine this is to do with “be still and know I am God” ? Oh as well as listening for that “still, small voice.”

    • Leanne

      Baby Mama

  • Leanne

    Mark: “What kind of people just sit in a restaurant and don’t say one word to each other?”

    Joanna: “Married people?”

    ;~)

    • Leanne

      Haha, I can’t believe someone “down voted” a Two For The Road quote! People are funny. :~D

  • http://twitter.com/dpmaldo Daniel Maldonado

    ……..

  • Matti

    Although there is also a kind of hell, or perhaps Purgatory, for those of us caught in an enforced silent existence, too.

  • Jay E.

    “Perhaps this is why we have the fanatic urge to post every emotional experience we have on Facebook, to instagram every sunset, to tweet every meaningful quote, to constantly avoid simply being, simply experiencing things, but forever outsourcing life to a realm in which in can be validated by others, and — most importantly — talked about, for in our heart of modern hearts we are not certain that our lives have value in and of themselves.”

    Simply because of that, I shall not be sharing this post… :P

    • Riley

      I left Facebook because I detest every blasted comment about every trivial event, thought, comment, blather,etc.

      • Fisherman

        If you Love God and aren’t afraid to show it, copy and paste this into your status, BUT IF YOU LOVE SATAN AND WANT TO SPEND ALL OF ETERNITY IN THE FIERY PITS OF HELL WITH ONLY THE SOUNDS OF THE DAMNED (INCLUDING JUDAS ISCARIOT AND DEAN WINCHESTER) MAKING YOUR EARS BLEED AND O HOLY MOSES THE WAILING AND GNASHING OF TEETH MAKE IT STOP JESUS I’M SORRY ABOUT NOT COPYING AND PASTING TO FACEBOOK then keep scrolling <3 <3 <3

  • Kate

    This was just absolutely amazing. It hit me really hard.

  • Guest

    Oh very Brave New World

  • http://twitter.com/KevinLoker Kevin Loker

    You would love (and should read) Sherry Turkle’s book, “Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other.”

    If you don’t have time, see this TED talk for a teaser: http://www.ted.com/talks/sherry_turkle_alone_together.html

    (I did related research in college, and am continuing it a bit of it as it relates to the context of technology in romantic relationships among college students.)

  • Chuck

    What the hell, either he’s always cussing or I just so happened to randomly read the posts where he says “fuck” or “dick.” McAnnoying.

    • K

      I think if you consider “dick” cursing, then “what the hell” also counts, and therefore you may wanna remove your plank. Then again, I think “dicks” is very mild language, and would therefore note that he rarely uses real curse words.

    • MEC88

      Yeah, I keep wanting to share things with my mom/aunts/family friends, but I can’t because of the language. It really detracts from the message and all the great stuff in these posts. A great writer should be able to express himself effectively without “descending to the gutter” for effect. Also, “d*ck” is a slang word for male genitals, so I would definitely rate it as less savory than “what the hell.” We shouldn’t be casually referencing human sexual organs using crude slang if we want to convey proper respect for the human person.

      • http://twitter.com/ZippidyBop Eddie Funkytime

        He was quoting a film; do you expect him to change the quote because some people have an issue reading certain words?
        In my opinion it isn’t foul language unless it’s intended that way; if used colloquially in a sentence by Marc, with anger or another bitter emotion, I’d understand your issue. However, he was quoting, and after all it is just a word.

        • MEC88

          In this case he was quoting, but in some of his other pieces he’s used foul language himself (and if he must use quotes with such language, it’s easy to * or – the words. The quote in this case did not seem vital). I would never make the blanket statement that “swearing is a sin”, but I think it’s a matter requiring careful judgement as to situation and audience. In the case of a blog, one must realize that one’s words can be read by anyone who can read and access the internet. If Marc had a ten-year-old sister, I doubt he would want her reading words like f*ck or d*ck in something he wrote publicly. I doubt he would want his grandma reading it either. Obviously on the internet those words are wherever you look, but our job as Christians (and I would say especially for those like Marc, who garner a lot of attention) is to raise the level of discourse, especially when talking about serious matters like human sexuality. He should also be mindful of those who may love his work and want to share it with family, but are prevented because of vulgar language. Vulgarity serves no purpose in these situations beyond cheap emphasis, and a good writer or speaker should be eloquent without it. Such language drags us down and makes us vulgar people (it is, after all, what comes out of a man’s mouth that defiles him), and leads us to treat that which we speak cheaply of, cheaply.

          Words are never “just words.” They are the primary form of human communication, and have both denotation and connotation. For example, if you looked at a definition of “d*ck”, you might see that it is a word for male genitalia. What’s missing from that definition is the fact that it’s a slangy, vulgar word. That you would only know by knowing the culture. Marc, I’m pretty sure, knows the culture.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Elizabeth-Weinrich/100000425699014 Elizabeth Weinrich

            Who do you really think you’re protecting by putting a few stars in words that you consider vulgar? Any 10 year old can tell what you’re trying to say and you just look like a silly prude by trying to cover it up.

          • MEC88

            Thank you for responding to the substance of the argument in my comment rather than focusing on silly grammatical choices in a sad attempt to insult me. Oh wait.

        • MEC88

          Also, it always seems that the answer to objections about vulgarity is always some variation on “because WHY NOT?” What we should be asking ourselves when using offensive language (especially when writing creatively or professionally) is “why?”, and we should have a damn good reason.

          • Geoff Scholl

            Something like your use of “damn” above?

            I cuss like a sailor in my daily life, having been one of a sort in my youth, and dislike it. I cannot bring myself to include those words in writing, like you suggest above, unless I have a very good reason.

          • Dunadan

            And what was your ‘d*mn good reason’ in this post may I ask?

          • MEC88

            Damn is more of an intensifier these days (like I said, words change with culture), and I was using it as such and a bit tongue in cheek. I wouldn’t say it in front of a five year old, but I don’t think it’s inappropriate in this context. If you have a reason to disagree I’d be happy to consider it.

          • MEC88

            Also I have no pretensions that more than 20 people will read my comments – and ever fewer will care. Ha!

    • Jude

      What on earth are you talking about? I’ve read almost everything Marc has posted (because he’s incredibly eloquent and give me hope) what are you reading?

      • MEC88

        He recently wrote an article for another site, I will try to find the link. He may also have changed it by now.

    • Melinda

      Okay I have definitely looked through the article at least 3 times thoroughly and do not once find the word “dick” in it. The part where he is quoting Pulp Fiction seems to be the only place where there is cursing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/trentleach Trent Leach

    This reminds me a lot of Kierkegaard’s “The Sickness Unto Death”: “It is Christian heroism – a rarity to be sure – to venture wholly to become oneself, an individual human being, this specific individual human being, alone before God. … The formula that describes the state of the self when despair is completely rooted out is this: in relating itself to itself and in willing to be itself, the self rests transparently in the power that established it.”

    Elsewhere (though I can’t remember exactly where) Kierkegaard notes that the modern world is so terrified by silence that the only thing we can do with it is make it a punishment.

    Thanks for this post!

  • http://www.facebook.com/timothy.horst.94 Timothy Horst

    Awesome stuff as always!!! A message I needed to hear and I hope many will hear–hear it in the silence, that is! I have a couple of possible corrections:

    “we can only know we are loved for who are when [we?] become only who we are”

    “Thus there are more “like”‘s and in the daily speech…” not sure if you meant to put another term after the “and” or leave it out

  • Gracee220

    Awesome post Marc! Absolutely agree that silence is a very uncomfortable notion for most people. As you stated it reveals much of who we are as is. A person has to be vulnerable to allow that level of honesty within themselves and the people around them. That is indeed unsettling for most, because we might not be happy with the truth of who we are when stripped of all the superficial. It’s no wonder then that God is most present when we are silent, when we are stripped of all the noise of everything else. He accepts us, the sinners that we are because He loves us so much and if we let Him, He can reveal so much about ourselves, the good, the bad, and the ugly in order to reach our truest potential as a son or daughter of God.

  • Obliged_Cornball

    Rather than say how I really feel about this blog, I’ll leave you with this:
    “…” ;)

  • http://twitter.com/PoetAndPriest Paul Hughes

    Same is definitely true of bars, which we can think of as parties that always take place somewhere else, and carry a cover charge. And while I forget who said it, there is this: “People who love one another can be silent together.” Very good … thought of my wife throughout my reading this: we can be silent together.

  • uxordepp

    Excellent post.

    It gives a whole new meaning to the line from the John Prine song “Me and Loretta we don’t talk much anymore…”

  • mpjm21

    Ironic that I posted “And so it goes, elevator music and iPods helpfully filling the gap that screams of Hell” as my Facebook status before reading the next line….

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003092123634 Jacques Van Blokland

    There’s a lyric in the movie The Inspector General “Talk and you show your ignorance, laugh and you show your teeth.”

  • http://twitter.com/ZippidyBop Eddie Funkytime

    Loved it! Reminds me of something I once read by Kierkegaard.

  • Margaret

    Amen. Thank you.

  • http://twitter.com/dpmaldo Daniel Maldonado

    An ethics professor I had used to ask the class, “Who are you when you’re alone in the dark?”

    I was immediately reminded of this question when I read this post.

  • Nathaniel

    Perhaps you could actually cite some evidence for your proclamations, rather than just stopping at the asserting stage.

    • http://www.facebook.com/marcjohnpaul Marc Barnes

      Its true, I tend to jump to assertions. Quick question though, as I’m trying to figure out which piece of evidence you’re in need of. To my mind the process went like this. Assertion 1: When we are truly silent, we simply are. Evidence for Assertion 1: The silence of strangers and the silence of lovers. The former is awkward, the latter comfortable, and the difference between the two is the knowledge and love the other has for us as we are. Assertion 2: We cannot have silence in the modern world. Evidence for Assertion 2: Constant communication, constant background music, constant projecting of life to the realm of life-talked-about, increased use of replacement/filler words, constant meaningless question/answer routines. Hypothesis: Assertion 2 is a result of Assertion 1. Now I completely understand a disagreement with my hypothesis — in fact, I’d be disappointed if it were otherwise — but do help me out — I beg your charity, I know — which assertion lacks evidence? Thanks so much!

      • http://www.facebook.com/michael.d.mcpherson Michael Duncan McPherson

        I think evidence for Assertion 1: is what needs proof, specifically “the difference between the two (The silence of strangers and the silence of lovers) is the knowledge and love the other has for us as we are.” There is a chance that other factors may be at play like the expectation for small talk. If we expect something and it doesn’t happen then we are uncomfortable, for example. However not only is it incredibly hard to prove, it would only be necessary if you were writing a scholarly psychology paper or something. This is just a blog, which is simply peoples opinions about stuff! Don’t feel like you have to justify every little detail, people are just being sticklers! Good post btw, I agree completely, evidence or no evidence!

    • Dunadan

      Mr. Barnes is presenting an explanation/hypothesis for something he experiences and something he sees other people experiencing. The strength of the explanation lies in how well it explains your experience of silence. If you do not experience awkward silences, or do not relate to any of the examples he gives, then he has nothing to say to you; the healthy man does not need a doctor.

      • Reluctant Liberal

        Have you heard of confirmation bias? Because it’s quite relevant here.

        • Montague

          It’s only relevant if the bias skews the result; an appropriate test might be to host a random “silent party” as a test, or do an extensive poll… which in this case I think is impractical and unneeded. The least type of logic is the empirical sort, after all (no, seriously.) Don’t think that any argument without statistics is weak… :-)

  • T

    Romanticism aside, the fact is that we are all conscious, social animals, seeking approval, ridden with anxiety and guilt. Can we ever remove the ambiguity of self that is inherent in every individual? Obviously not. I bet people who are impressed by this article are nothing short of having that precise sense of validation. Like it or not we will never go beyond our primal urges. “Our fear to believe in God exists in precise proportion to our fear of silence.” This is one hell of a claim. I am one of the most quietest person you will probably ever meet and I do not believe that the historical/modern human concept of divinity is remotely close to reality. The Gods are nothing but the reflection of the human psyche through the ages.

    • T

      This article has got me thinking even a day after reading it, which is a good thing. Just to clarify. When I said “quietest”, I did not mean it in the literal sense, as the author intended. Then again perhaps the “silent God” is but our conscience, which emerged from experience, empathy and contemplation? Is it even possible to “simply be” in the first place?

      • http://www.facebook.com/michael.d.mcpherson Michael Duncan McPherson

        I think that’s the point, no one can just “be” because we come with all this baggage. And I don’t think Marc meant “quiet” in the literal sense. i think he meant it as in a person is quiet if they don’t fill up their life with constant noise, TV, music, cell phone, computer AND small talk. I would consider myself quiet because I hate small talk and don’t do it well. Sometimes I think I creep people out because I’m not afraid to sit with someone and not talk very much.

  • Michael

    I think it behooves us more not to bemoan asking the question “how are you?” when we don’t really want to know the answer, but to seek out ways to truly mean it. This is the much more difficult proposition. To truly love them may not be just to be silent when our words would ring hollow, but to generally give effect to things we choose to say. I would rather get to know my fellow man [even at the inconvenience of not spending that time on myself]. That being said, I’m usually the first to ineffectually ask how you are doing. I’ll just stop talking now.

  • Ceckiz Gzz

    delightful! I rather pray in silence my Rosary, while on the bus everybody is hooked to their earphones.

  • Barbara

    Marc, what would you say then about the role of communication in love? It seems to me that love always seeks ways to communicate itself. It’s primary function is to bind– people to each other, the soul to God. Heck the poet Ernesto Cardenal describes love as the thing that draws all things on Earth into union with each other “You have made of the Earth a wedding party, and all things are husbands and wives”. The way this is done is through love speaking itself, the lover calling out or singing to the beloved. Love poetry and song are manifestations of this primal cry “come to me, I long for you”. So what do you say about that?

    • Dunadan

      I think the kind of noise Mr. Barnes is criticizing is communication only engaged in to stave off the fear of silence and ‘be-ing’. However, the fact that “love always seeks to communicate itself” does present a problem to Mr. Barnes’ thesis that silence is the norm and noise is the absence of silence.

      • Sofia

        Maybe there is also a distinction between “noise” and actual sharing of our being through words: words that truly say something, words that communicate love and true care. or words that invite the other to open up “to be”.

        However, words in this sense, always go alongside love and action.
        Asking a true “how are you?” with the expectation, and heart-fully wanting to hear how that person is.

        But thank you for this blog post! Beautiful. True.

  • TheodoreSeeber

    I would say you can only truly have silence in solitude. You can’t “be” with anybody else at all.

  • Nadja

    I suppose there is a great difference between new love and old, because as an old lady of nigh 50 winters, my husband and I can sit together and say very little, just because we pretty much know all there is to know about one another, and talk sometimes just seems superfluous. On the other hand, when we were first dating, we would constantly talk all night long, because of the thrill of discovery–we wanted to learn all we could about one another, and reveal all we could of ourselves to the other. I find that silence is only awkward when I feel insecure about myself or otherwise when I feel that the person I’m with is uncomfortable.

  • The Other Weirdo

    This was a good article, with the exception of the completely unnecessary Pulp Fiction quote. I actually agreed with a fair bit of it. Right up until the paragraph just before the “Read more” link. Then, I’m afraid, it crashed and burned. We are not all monstrous sinners, we do not all love elevator music(crappy or not), not all of us listen to music all the time(or, baring long car trips, at all), and we don’t all have the urge to post every thought as a status update on Facebook. And no matter how much it pleases you to think so, we don’t fear to believe in God.

  • zico

    you should look up the pascal pensee about our misery being due to the fact that we cannot sit alone, still, and silently in a room for 10 minutes. very true.

    • http://www.facebook.com/trentleach Trent Leach

      “When I have occasionally set myself to consider the
      different distractions of men, the pains and perils to which they expose
      themselves at court or in war, whence arise so many quarrels, passions, bold
      and often bad ventures, etc., I have discovered that all the unhappiness of men
      arises from one single fact, that they cannot stay quietly in their own
      chamber. A man who has enough to live on, if he knew how to stay with pleasure
      at home, would not leave it to go to sea or to besiege a town. A commission in
      the army would not be bought so dearly, but that it is found insufferable not
      to budge from the town; and men only seek conversation and entering games,
      because they cannot remain with pleasure at home. …” (Pensees, 136)

  • Kelleylynn Rainville Barberg

    I love the quiet. It usually is around here but then hubby comes home from work and the TV never shuts up. There goes my silence.

  • Emma

    You’re sounding very Neil Postman-y. This is all so true it makes me very sad.

  • Torin

    This seems odd to me… it’s my habit NOT to talk because then people would gain knowledge about me. I use the silence to hide myself from others rather than using noise. I don’t really have anything important to say anyway, so why bother speaking to them?.

    • Montague

      Does that mean you are afraid of people? Or maybe that they are meaningless to you? Marc’s point is that people Hide – the method is secondary, I think.

  • Elizabeth

    Thank you for broaching the subject of why smartphones, etc. make us miserable. I think this is a huge spiritual issue of our time. There was a really good episode of “On Being” recently, “The Next Christians,” wherein Gabe Lyons, founder of “Q”, was very eloquent about this in the context of evangelization:

    “And I think when we reach out and just start to engage and have conversations with people, we find on the human level people want community, especially in this technology-saturated world. People want eye-to-eye contact, human-to-human relationships, and I think that’s one of the call as Christians. I mean, we have a story that’s essentially the story that we believe, is God sends Jesus to be fully embodied in a human culture to give people a new experience that was very different than what they had seen the religious leaders represent to them. And — and Jesus has to come fully embodied to do that.And it’s our call, today, one of the most counter-cultural things we can do, but refreshing things we can do is to be fully present, fully embodied, with other human beings and listen to them, look them in the eyes, ask them how they’re doing, have these conversations not just with strangers, but with your parents, with your children, with your spouse. We need it and it’s something desperately missing in our society. And if we don’t work on that — being human, having conversations — I think 10 to 20 years from now, we’re going to see incredible suffering in our world as a result.”(You should listen to that show, dear Marc, if you haven’t already: http://www.onbeing.org/program/next-christians/4839 )

  • Howard

    Google “Belcerebons” for more information on this topic.

  • ds

    Bad catholic, why don’t you?

    • Leanne

      Well, he should at least wait until he has some experience with his subject matter, especially when it concerns marriage.

      What he (and everyone who already hasn’t) should do is watch Two for the Road (IMO, one of the best movie treatments of marriage ever) because it says exactly this, only better, and with absolutely gorgeous people wearing fabulous clothes (Hepburn broke her tradition of having Givenchy costume her and wore Mary Quant and Pucci and Courreges and Paco Rabonne, et al.).

      When a young cock-sure (literally) Mark posits the “who sits at a table…” question to the young, virginal Joanne at the beginning of the movie, and David again smirkingly asks it later in the movie, Donen is saying exactly what Marc (not Mark Wallace, Marc Barnes) is trying to say here.

      Plus the Maxwell-Manchesters and that awful, awful child. :~D

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez

    You lost me after “f—”.

  • Noe

    The bochur at the Kotel (just by the entrance to “Wilson’s Arch”), is praying from the “Order of the Prayer [or Box...] of Isaac”. That is all I have to add to this fine piece.
    Noe

  • Maggie

    I got the wonderful opportunity to go on a retreat this weekend, and one of my absolute favorite parts of going on a retreat is being able to leave a lot of the noise you talked about behind. It was so nice not looking at my phone or getting on the computer for a whole weekend. It’s amazing how well you can get to know yourself, God, and others. Maybe we should stop more often and just be.

  • Bugd

    Thanks Marc for this! I love silence! I always thought it rather strange that people needed to have something constantly in there ears. I guess that’s how the portable CD player, MP3 player and now iPhone had/have a reason to exist, because they can when used to do so, deprive us of silence.
    I will add this, though I am a novice at the spiritual life, I have found it difficult to truly meditate the Christian way. Unlike Christian devotion that required vocal prayer, when we meditate upon the Mysteries of the Life of Our Lord and Our Lady (particularly Lectio Divina) we engage in a communication, an encounter between lovers that in essence (now thinking about it) requires dialogue AND silence. The ear of the soul must be willing to listen if God so chooses to communicate.

    PS: For those that may think this, I am not at all advocating eastern religions idea of meditation, in fact, stay away from reiki, yoga and the like! They are not Christian and never will be.

  • LR

    i just resisted the fanatic urge to share this on facebook :) proud of it!


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