Catholic Contemplative Affiliation

Contemplative Quotes

Posted,  February 15, 2018



“Those who do not know there is another life after this one, or who cannot bring themselves to live in time as if they were meant to spend their eternity in God, resist the fruitful silence of their own being by continual noise.  Even when their own tongues are still, their minds chatter without end and without meaning, or they plunge themselves into the protective noise of machines, traffic, or radios.  When their own noise is momentarily exhausted, they rest in the noise of other men.”

--Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island, p. 195

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“Recollection in silence, the state of the person’s being most with himself, is an indispensable condition for this being with the Other [God-Trinity] that is closer to him than he is to himself.

“When the mind is habituated to noise, it creates this [noise] for itself even in the absence of sound by chattering to itself, whether verbally or imaginatively.  As the imagination recreates visual images intensely or repeatedly impressed on the eyes when the eyes are closed, so also does it produce distraction and dissonance for the mind at home in the elsewhere of the audible and inaudible hum.  A mind that lives elsewhere and otherwise is seldom itself and encounters itself unexpectedly, sporadically, and with a hard shock.

“Silence is not an empty space to be filled but is full of meaning for him who has ears to hear it.  The person draws himself toward silence by collecting himself—his faculty, attentions, and intentions—and yet it is silence itself, with its Word beyond all human significance, that finally draws the person.  When the person refrains from the distraction of chatter and the fabrication of (often banal) meaning, it is in the abyss to which he has entrusted himself that her finds himself

“The proper treatment of this subject [silence] begins and ends with the Word; our starting point here is the silence of Jesus recorded in the Gospels and the point of arrival is the sense in which silence is conducive to a relationship with Christ.”

--William L. Brownsberger. Silence. Communio (P O Box 4557, Washington, DC. 20017), Winter 2009, XXXVI, 4, pp. 587-588.


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