Making Space for the Divine: The Gift of Silence

The desert elders warn us repeatedly about the ways we resist silence, especially in our interior chatter and the onslaught of thoughts most of us experience when we sit down to pray. In fact, this encounter in silence is often why we resist slowing down and being still. We fear what might be revealed in that space.

Our lives are precious. Each moment should be cherished. The more I stay with myself in those times of challenge, the more I open up the possibility of sustained and lasting peace. Lest we think this is a selfish activity, the world desperately needs this kind of peace that rises up from within the hearts of passionate and committed people. Silence awakens us to renewed vision, to a deepened awareness of the world around us.

We each live with fundamental lies, stories we tell about ourselves that are untrue. Our words help to strengthen the illusions we live with. Silence helps to free us from these constructions and heal us from our attachments. Our normal speech seems to reinforce the way we keep ourselves from freedom.

Silence isn't just the absence of sound, but a form of human consciousness. This silence of the heart is a profound place of moving beyond ego, judgments, and dualistic thinking to witness the presence of the divine. In silence, we can experience a sense of inner expansiveness which makes more room for God's presence.

3/27/2012 4:00:00 AM
  • Progressive Christian
  • Seasons of the Soul
  • LENT2012
  • Silence
  • Christianity
  • Christine Valters Paintner
    About Christine Valters Paintner
    Christine Valters Paintner, Ph.D., is a Benedictine Oblate and the online Abbess ofAbbey of the Arts, a virtual monastery without walls offering online classes in contemplative practice and creative expression and pilgrimages to Ireland, Germany, and Austria. She is the author of eight books on monasticism and creativity including The Artist's Rule: Nurturing Your Creative Soul with Monastic Wisdom (Ave Maria Press) and her forthcoming book The Soul of a Pilgrim: Eight Practices for the Inner Journey (Spring 2015, Ave Maria Press). Christine lives as a monk in the world in Galway, Ireland with her husband of twenty years.
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