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Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Silence and Solitude

Albert Nolan in his latest book, Jesus Today: A Spirituality of Radical Freedom, is the source of most of my reflection this morning. Jesus seems to have experienced a profound need for silence and solitude...
Nolan says that there is "no way that you and I today can enter into the spirit of Jesus' Way without creating some space in our lives for silence and solitude." Regular periods of solitude and silence are indespensable. We need silence.
"We need to find a way of sometimes disconnecting from the relentless flow of words, sounds, and images that bombard us day and night."

None of this is new, but in reading Nolan's Chapter In Silence and Solitude, I was struck by the obsession we have with work and busyness. We need to slow down and rest in interior stillness that is essential to spiritual growth. Each of us must find her or his own way to do this.
Nolan speaks of both Centering Prayer and John Main's form of meditation using a mantra or repetitive word. He quotes Thomas Merton saying, Contemplation is essentially a listening in silence.
Let us be still and listen. Be still and know that I am God!

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