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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Invitation to Solitude and Silence

Since many of us will be making our retreats during the month of July, I want to share a bit from a book I am reading. It is Ruth Haley Barton's Invitation to Solitude and Silence: Experiencing God's Transforming Presence. It was published in 2004 by InterVarsity Press. It is not listed under the spiritual books on the right as I do not think I ever have managed to finish reading it. It is a book that leads one to silence and solitude.Here is a sample from the beginning of Chapter 2:

"To enter into solitude and silence is to take the spiritual life seriously. It is to take seriously our need to quiet the noise of our lives, to cease the constant striving of human effort, to pull away from our absorption in human relationships for a time in order to give God our undivided attention. In solitude God begins to free us from our bondage to human expectations, for there we experience God as our ultimate reality--the One in whom we live and move and have our being."

When reflecting on being freed from the bondage to human expectations, I found that I do not think myself too concerned about the expectations of others, but find that my own expectations are often not realistic and certainly not the same as God's. I also find that I do care about what others think and it does influence me more than I thought... I want to be responsive to God and His desires and His love and not ruled by my expectations or the expectations of others.
Silence teaches us so much for then we are still and can hear God's voice!

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