November 2013 (Vol. XXVI, No. 10)


Quiet Greetings, dear friends, and blessings of the Silence to you all! We come again to the topic that brings us into being, encircles us, and holds us all together as one. Silence is blessed in our noisy, clamorous world, but it is so much more than just the absence of noise. It is a quality in inner stillness, a purposeful turning of our attention to that inner voice that longs to be heard, a listening attitude so that we may apprehend whatever the Beloved would have us hear. We come together in Silence as one in the One; even though we may not be consciously aware of it, our Spirits are nurtured and blessed to be together in gratitude for the gift of Silence and the gift of this widespread community of souls.


I live in the woods out of necessity. I get out of bed in the middle of the night because it is imperative that I hear the silence of the night, aloud, and with my face on the floor, say psalms, alone, in the silence of the night... The silence of the forest is my bride and the sweet dark warmth of the whole world is my love and out of the heart of that dark warmth comes the secret that is heard only in the silence...


~ from DANCING IN THE WATER OF LIFE by Thomas Merton, thanks to Gary O'Guinn


Silence is that place just before the voice of God. It is the void in which God and I meet in the center of my soul.


~ Joan Chittister


I have faith ... that one unknown voice of sacred Silence will prayerfully proclaim the advent of an everlasting light during the darkest night ...


~ "I Have Faith" in POEMS OF OTHER WORLDS by Richard Bachtold


How quiet -
This night-shattering


~ Ronald Willis


True experience always comes about in withdrawal "from the crowd." The original, true and proper attitude of the mind is, as Heraclites says, that of "listening to the truth of things..." Our journey into the territory of being should be made in silence, with wondering, wide-open eyes. The fullness of truth and reality is revealed only to those who attain to a silence which covers every aspect of their beings, or who, in other words make their basic attitude toward the whole of being one of delicate and reserved courtesy... For anyone who wishes to hear what is true and real, every voice must for once be still. Silence, however, is not merely the absence of speech. It is not something negative; it is "something" in itself. It is a depth, a fullness, a peaceful flow of hidden life. Everything true and great grows in silence. Without silence we fall short of reality and cannot plumb the depths of being. Kierkegaard, who was acutely aware of this, once made the profoundly true statement: "Silences are the only scrap of Christianity we still have left."


~ from GOD IS WITH US by Ladislaus Boros


Silence foreshadows and houses that fertile consciousness of Being (the unitive state) within all of us. Progressively, silence calls us into this awareness, until at some point we live in it, or realize it lives us. Then, each leaf, flower or bud reminds us of that Heart or Reality or Void in which we all have our life and being.


~ from A WAY WITHOUT WORDS by Marsha Sinetar



You have traveled too fast over false ground;
Now your soul has come to take you back.
Take refuge in your senses, open up
To all the small miracles you rushed through.
Become inclined to watch the way of rain
When it falls slow and free.
Imitate the habit of twilight,
Taking time to open the well of color
That fostered the brightness of day.
Draw alongside the silence of stone
Until its calmness can claim you.


~ from TO BLESS THE SPACE BETWEEN US by John O'Donohue


Loneliness transforms to aloneness in silence.


~ Dolores Fruiht


I will come to you in the silence,
I will lift you from all your fear.

You will hear my voice,
I claim you as my choice,
be still and know I am here.
I am hope for all who are hopeless,
I am eyes for all who long to see.
In the shadows of the night
I will be your light,
come and rest in me.


~ from "You Are Mine," Sheet Music by David Haas, arr. by Mark Hayes, Hope Publishing Company


Those who neglect silence bring only a distracted heart and a preoccupied mind to their prayer and, instead of deriving new strength from it, they only offer God a heart full of trifles. Intimate conversation with God is easily stifled if you do not first put an end to exterior chatter; yet, if you love silence and keep it well, your heart will be a temple where God will dwell and become known to you there.


~ St. Julia Billiart in WOMEN OF VISION compiled by Dorothy M. Stewart, thanks to Nancy Bock


As I pray for life's lessons, Silence incurs and things become clear. This silence leaves no doubt. Assumptions are not needed. Paths are paved with care and concern. Spirits speak in this silence of righteousness. They know my worries and they direct me to destinations of understanding, compassion, and faith. Then, as if from a deep sleep, I wake with the feeling of serenity. A feeling of hope overwhelms me, and I know I've been touched by hands of unconditional love. Confidence exudes from me as I approach my day. Many ask, "How do you find humility...?" I easily respond, "In Silence."


~ Antonio McKinney


In silence and solitude you will come to meet the Beloved of your heart. For Silence is power, the power of the Divine Lover blessing and transforming you. Seek always the Eternal Flame ever shining in your heart, and let yourself be nourished and refreshed in the Silence.


~ Nan Merrill


When I am silent, I fall into that place where everything is music.


~ Rumi


In the early evening we see the stars begin to appear as the sun disappears over the horizon. The light of day gives way to the darkness of night. A stillness, a healing quiet comes over the landscape. It's a moment when some other world makes itself known, a numinous presence beyond human understanding. We experience the vast realms of space overwhelming the limitations of our human minds. As the sky turns golden and the clouds reflect the blazing colors of evening, we participate for a moment in the forgiveness, the peace, the intimacy of things with each other.





The Friends of Silence Retreat Ministry  


We invite you to a retreat in the beautiful wilderness setting of Still Point Mountain Retreat and Rolling Ridge Study Retreat this year. For a complete listing and more information, please see, email, call 304-724-1069, or write Friends of Silence Retreat Ministry, c/o Lindsay McLaughlin, 120 Jubilee Lane, Harpers Ferry, WV 25425.


See the website events for other opportunities for shared fellowship and work, and a warm welcome to schedule private individual/group retreats.


Sign up now for The Lord's Prayer On-Line Retreat: Living the prayer that Jesus taught, beginning January 6, 2014.

This on-line retreat is designed to take you deeper into the prayer that Jesus taught by providing practices that point to the Lord's Prayer as a lived experience.


Looking at the Lord's prayer through the lens of our spiritual journey as reflected in the Exodus from Egypt and lived in the Beatitudes, this retreat is meant for seekers no matter where they find themselves on their spiritual journey. Emails based on a line of the Lord's Prayer will be sent every weekday for eight weeks. Practices to encourage living the Lord's Prayer in daily life will be the focus of the retreat. A community to support the practice of the Lord's Prayer will be formed through prayer and on-line interaction.


For more information and to register visit:

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