We need to see silence, and nothingness itself, as a kind of being in the great chain of being, maybe the first link from which all others emerge. St. Bonaventure, the Italian spiritual genius who picked up the intellectual thread from the non-academic Francis, led us through the great chain of being from material things, to inner soul, to the Divine. John Duns Scotus, an early Franciscan, said you may speak of being with one voice from the being of the earth itself, to the waters upon the earth to the minerals within the earth, the flowers and trees and grasses, the animals, the humans, the angelic choirs, the divine. Both of these mystics would have said that once you stop seeing the divine in any one link of that chain, the whole thing will fall apart. It is either all God’s work or you have a hard time finding God in mere parts. That split and confused world is the postmodern world we live in today, which no longer knows how to surround and ground all things in silence. This is not an oversimplification. Either you see God in all things, or very quickly you cannot see God anywhere, even in your own species.
—from the book Silent Compassion: Finding God in Contemplation by Richard Rohr