Minute Meditations

Creation Out of Silence

plants growing | Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

We know that all things are creatio ex nihilo—that every something, by God’s plan, first comes from nothing. If we can first rest in the nothing, we will then be prepared to appreciate the something. When nothing creates something, we call it grace. Such silence was described in the very first two verses of the Book of Genesis. The first reality is described as a “formless void,” and the Spirit is “hovering” over this silent void. The Spirit is silent, but powerful, and the coming together of these two great silences is the beginning of our creation, at least in the Judeo-Christian story.

Silence precedes, undergirds, and grounds everything. We cannot just see it as an accident, or as something unnecessary. But unless we learn how to live there, go there, abide in this different phenomenon, the rest of things—words, events, relationships, identities—all become rather superficial, without depth or context. They lose meaning. All we search for is a life of more events, more situations which must increasingly contain ever-higher stimulation, more excitement, and more color, to add vital signs to our inherently bored and boring existence. The simplest and most stripped-down things really do have the power to give us the greatest happiness—if we respect them as such. Silence is the essence of simple and stripped down.

—from the book Silent Compassion: Finding God in Contemplation 
by Richard Rohr, OFM

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