The Sound of Silence

by Michael Smith

Silence allows the muddy waters of our minds to clear’ -- Italian poet Rosa Bellino

‘Silence is the great friend of the soul.... make space for it so that it may begin to work for you’ -- John O’Donohue, writing in Anam Cara--spiritual wisdom from the Celtic world

‘In the attitude of silence the soul finds the path in a clearer light, and what is elusive and deceptive resolves itself into crystal clearness’ -- Mahatma Gandhi

‘How silently, how silently, the wondrous gift is given’ -- Phillips Brooks

‘Speak through the earthquake, wind, and fire,
O still, small voice of calm!’ -- John Greenleaf Whittier

There is an interior dimension to silence, a sort of stillness of heart and mind which is not a void but a rich space.... silence is the place, the focus, for a radical encounter with the divine.... Chosen silence can be creative and generate self-knowledge, integration and profound joy.... and when it works a stream of bubbles, bubbles of joy, float up around you and rise ahead of you towards some bright surface you cannot yet see clearly’ -- Sara Maitland, writing in A Book of Silence

I think we all have a little voice inside us that will guide us...if we shut out all the noise and clutter from our lives and listen to that voice, it will tell us the right thing to do.’ -- Christopher Reeve

'Silence is the gateway to the soul and the soul is the gateway to God.... The goal of the silence is to achieve purity of heart.-- Fr Christopher Jamison in the BBC TV series The Big Silence (2010)

'Silence unveils deeper truths... Reverent silence is not a luxury. Indeed the busier we are, the more indispensable it becomes... From the silence wisdom is born.' -- Monsignor Roderick Strange, Rector of the Pontifical Beda College, Rome, writing in the Credo column, The Times, 15 January 2011

'Spacious silence allows a spacious God. This is one good thing that silence and waiting has taught me: our lives are always useable by God. We need not always be effective, but only transparent and vulnerable. Then we are instruments, not matter what we do. Silence is the ability to trust that God is acting, teaching, and using me--even before I perform or after my seeming failures. Silence is the necessary space around things that allows them to develop and flourish without my pushing.' -- Richard Rohr, Franciscan friar and author, founding director of the Centre for Action and Contemplation, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

‘For many around the world, the daily time of silent reflection has become an anchor, and a springboard to action, over the years’ -- Michael Smith, writing in The Sound of Silence

Imagine what the world would be like if we all realised that, in this age of Information, real inspiration comes in times of silent reflection-- a sources of direction, and correction, for ourselves and for the world. In silent reflection lies the potential to create a calmer, more peaceful, more just world. 

You can be part of the global community of those who find strength in silent reflection. Commit to taking time out each day to listen to that inner voice--the still, small voice of calm. Begin with 10 minutes. Extend it to 20 minutes, half an hour or an hour each day as you find the need to do so. Write down your thoughts as they come to you, as an aide memoire. Then act on them as you are led to do so. Put right anything that you feel may be wrong in your life. Allow the inner voice of conscience to speak to you. Then see where the journey will lead you. Make silent reflection a daily practice, at dawn, at dusk, any time during the day. The changes it brings may be more far reaching than you imagine.

Tell us your story by clicking here. You can write here what the sound of silence has meant to you in your life, in not more than 400 words.


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