The Gift of Silence

“Be still and know that I am God.” Ps. 46:10

According to Meister Eckhart, a fourteenth-century Dominican mystic, “There is nothing so much like God as silence.” Several years ago, a friend gave me a little plaque which I hung in a place where I would see it every morning. It says, “Make time for quiet moments, as God whispers and the world is loud,” Most of us are not comfortable with silence because we have become so accustomed to always being surrounded by noise. Think about it – most public buildings, stores, offices, and banks fill the air with pop music. While we wait on the phone to be connected to the next available representative, we listen to infomercials, or elevator music. People talk on cell phones everywhere, and we are subjected to the constant “white noise” of traffic, computers, and home appliances. We aren’t really listening to any of this, but it’s always there. Think about a time when someone has asked for “a moment of silence.” If this “moment” lasts longer than 15 seconds, people begin to get fidgety and impatient. We don’t know how to manage silence. The problem with all this noise is that it doesn’t allow us to truly listen to each other. It doesn’t give us the space we need to learn something new – to be more open to compassion, love and service. Did you realize that the same six letters that spell LISTEN, also spell SILENT? The following perspective on our need for silence is from Nobel Peace Prize winner Mairead Corrigan Maguire: 

“Take time to listen to the birds, the waves, the wind.

Take time to breathe in the air, the earth, the ocean.

Take time to be still, to be silent, 

To allow God to fill you up with deep peace and love.”


Listening God, teach me to be silent so that I might hear your voice in the voices of others. In the stillness, may I learn who I am meant to be.   Amen.

Francie Winslow