"Love follows knowledge."
"Beauty above all beauty!"
– St. Catherine of Siena

Friday, September 7, 2018

Notable Quotes/Faith Filled Friday: Quotes from The Power of Silence

This is a combination “Notable Quotes” and “Faith Filled Friday.”

 A few months ago I had several posts from The Power of Silence by Robert Cardinal Sarah.  You can find those posts here:
Part 1 here
Part 2 here
Part 3 here:

Cardinal Sarah was just so quotable I started jotting down some of the really great quotes out of his book.  I present them here for your enjoyment and moment of prayer.  Yes, reading spiritual quotes is a form of prayer.  At least I think so.

From Introduction:

This friendship was born in silence, it grew in silence, and continues to exist in silence.

Silence was the salt that seasoned this story.  Silence had the last word.  Silence was the elevator to heaven.

The silence of night is the most capable of crushing all the dictatorships of noise.

Silence is more important than any other human work.  For it expresses God.

From Chapter One:

There is one great question: how can man really be made in the image of God?  He must enter into silence.

At the heart of man is an innate silence, for God abides in the innermost part of every person.  God is silence, and this divine silence dwells in man.

If we observe the great works, the most powerful acts, the most extraordinary and striking interior transformations that God carries out in man, we are forced to admit that he works in silence. 

We listen in silence; man enters into a silence that is God.

Silence is not an absence.  On the contrary, it is the manifestation of a presence, the most intense of all presences.  

In silence man conquers his nobility and grandeur only if he is on his knees in order to hear and adore God.  It is in the silence of humiliation and self-mortification, by quieting the turmoil of the flesh, by successfully taming the noisy images, by keeping at a distance the dreams, imaginations, and roaring of the world that is always in a whirl, in order to purify himself of all that ruins the soul and separates it from contemplation, that man makes himself capable of looking at God and loving him.

God’s silence is a consuming fire for the man who approaches him.

This age detests the things that silence brings us to: encounter, wonder, and kneeling before God.

In silence there is a collaboration between man and God.

Persons who live in noise are like dust swept along by the wind.

Man must make a choice: God or nothing, silence or noise.

Lack of respect for silence is a form of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.

From Chapter Two:

Creation itself is a silent word of God.

In heaven, speech does not exist.  There on high, the blessed communicate with each other without any words.  There is a great silence of contemplation, communion, and love.

The silence of Jesus’ death transforms, purifies, and appeases man.  It causes him to be in communion with the sufferings and death of Christ, to come back fully into the divine life.

From Chapter Three:

Sacred silence is therefore the only truly human and Christian reaction to God when he breaks into our lives.

Sacred silence, laden with the adored presence, opens the way to mystical silence, full of loving intimacy. 

Words bring with them the temptation of the golden calf!  Only silence leads man beyond words, to the mystery, to worship in spirit and in truth.

And how small would God be if we understood him.

From Chapter Four:

There is a time for human action, which is often uncertain, and a time for silence in God, which is truly victorious.  Far from vengeful, noisy, ideological rebellion, I believe in the fruitfulness of silence.  Prayer and silence will save the world.

Unless we seek to suppress all the superficial aspects of our lives, we will never be united with God.  By detaching ourselves from everything superfluous, we enter little by little into a form of silence.

 Modern existence is a propped-up life built entirely on noise, artificiality, and the tragic rejection of God.  From revolutions to conquests, from ideologies to political battles, from the frantic quest for equality to the obsessive cult of progress, silence is impossible.  What is worse: transparent societies are sworn to an implacable hatred of silence, which they regard as contemptible, backward defeat.

A man without silence is a stranger to God, exiled in a distant land that remains at the surface of the mystery of man and the world; but God is at the deepest part of man, in the silent regions his being.

When the soul is detached from the body of the departing person, it rises in an incomparable silence.  The great silence of death is the silence of the soul that travels toward another homeland: the land of eternal life.

All that is from God makes no noise.  Nothing is sudden, everything is delicate, pure, and silent.

From Chapter Five:

Silence is an extremely necessary element in the life of every man.  It enables the soul to be recollected.  It protects the soul against the loss of its identity.  It predisposes the soul to resist the temptation to turn away from itself to attend to things outside, far from God.

Man does not seek silence for the sake of silence.  The desire for silence for its own sake would be a sterile venture, a particularly exhausting aesthetic experience.  In the depths of his soul, man wants the presence and company of God, in the same way that Christ sought his Father in the desert, far from the cries and passions of the crowd. 

A Christian cannot fear silence because he is never alone.  He is with God.  He is in God.  He is for God.  In the silence, God gives me his eyes so as to contemplate him better.  Christian hope is the foundation of the true silent search of the believer.  Silence is not frightening; on the contrary, it is the assurance of meeting God.

Of course these are not all, and they may not even be the best quotes.  These are just some that caught my eye.  Try to set aside some silent time this weekend, and see if it moves you.

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