Minute Meditations

Silence as Living Presence

feather on water | Photo by Andraz Lazic on Unsplash

We need to experience silence as a living presence in itself, which is primordial and primal, and then see all other things—now experienced deeply—inside of that container. Silence is not just an absence, but also, by that very fact, a presence. Silence surrounds every “I know” event with a humble and patient “I don’t know.” It protects the autonomy and dignity of events, persons, animals, and all things.

We must find a way to return to this place, to live in this place, to abide in this place of inner silence. Outer silence means very little if there is not a deeper inner silence. Everything else appears much clearer when it appears or emerges out of a previous silence. When I use the word appear, I mean that silence takes on reality, substance, significance, or meaning. Without silence around a thing, which is a mystery, nothing has meaning—or a meaning that lasts. It is just another event in a sequence of ever-quicker events, which we call our lives. 

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

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4 thoughts on “Silence as Living Presence”

  1. Most High and glorious God, enlighten the darkness of our hearts and give us a true faith, a certain hope and a perfect love. Give us a sense of the divine and knowledge of yourself, so that we may do everything in fulfillment of your holy will; through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Prayer of Francis of Assisi, 1182-1226)

  2. The reflection is beautiful about silence. Often I think, there is not enough it at Mass. Silence allows us to connect with in a special way. We can listen to His promptings,

  3. Mike Reininger

    I guess there are two different types of silences. One is a silence that speaks to a person. The other is just plain empty. It’s the latter, I think, that scares people. I think that latter type of silence can make a person feel isolated. But one can feel isolated in a noisy environment too. I know I’m not happy in big cities. Thank God for rural environments.

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