image“When your tongue is silent, you can rest in the silence of the forest. When your imagination is silent, the forest speaks to you. It tells you of its unreality and of the Reality of God. But when your mind is silent, then the forest suddenly becomes magnificently real and blazes transparently with the Reality of God. For now I know that the Creation, which at first seems to reveal Him in concepts, then seems to hide Him by the same concepts, finally is revealed in Him, by the Holy Spirit.” from A Year with Thomas Merton.

I don’t know what it is about Merton, but almost anything he wrote can get me going thinking about some part of the struggle to be a Christian or something about monastic spirituality that is especially important to me. In this case, a bit of both which coalesce into one and the same thing, the importance of being silent and listening for God.

Fr Michael Casey wrote in his book Sacred Reading about the need for silence and listening to God and wrote of the experience of Samuel when God spoke to him. His response to God was, “Speak Lord, your servant is listening.” For most people today, the response is, “Listen Lord, your servant is speaking.” We get it all backwards. I need to remind myself, again and again, to shut up and be still and listen.  

Reading this yesterday was just a nice reminder and I thought I’d share it.


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