Thursday, August 28, 2008

Waiting In Silence

I have not blogged for a while. It has been a real busy time as we finish the semester here at Regent and I recover from an extended travel schedule during the summer months. I have been thinking about the value of silence, rest and stillness. Here is a small section from Thomas Merton on the value of these age-old and devotional disciplines:

“Contemplation is essentially a listening in silence, an expectancy... In other words, the true contemplative is not the one who prepares his mind for a particular message that he wants or expects to hear, but who remains empty because he knows that he can never expect or anticipate the world that will transform his darkness into light. He does not even anticipate a special kind of transformation. He does not demand light instead of darkness. He waits on the Word of God in silence, and when he is ‘answered,’ it is not so much by a world that bursts into his silence. It is by his silence itself suddenly, inexplicably revealing itself to him as a word of great power, full of the voice of God.”

Thomas Merton. Contemplative Prayer. Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Company, 1969: 90