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Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Desiring Silence

Desiring Silence is one of Sister Wendy Beckett's "Meditations on Silence" which I really love. I suspect that when I was using her little book last June, I may have shared some of this one, but it is worth repeating. She begins by saying, " Profound silence is not something we fall into casually. This may indeed happen, and a blessed happening it is, but normally we choose to set aside a time and a place to enter into spiritual quietness. (Those who never do this, or who shrink from it, run a very grave risk of remaining only half fulfilled as humans.) Craigie Aitchison's view of Holy Island pares this choice down to its fundamental simplicities. Brown earth, blue sea and red sky; Holy Island a stony gray lit by glory. There is a small ship to take us across, if we choose to ride in it. There are no fudging elements here; all is clear cut. This is not silence itself but rather the desire for silence. Silence, being greater than the human psyche, cannot be compressed within our intellectual categories; it will always elude us. But the desire to be silent, the understanding of the absolute need for it; this is expressed in Aitchinson's wonderful diagram of life within sight of the holy."

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