The Silence of Life

Each spirituality has its own route. Any journey that takes you towards God will demand some vigorous asceticism, some real fasting, a real purification and a disciplined ordering of the countless, obsessive feelings and desires that act through us.

We will not get in touch with the deep source of our lives if the activities of our life are so consuming and obsessive that we can never find an identity and meaning in something beyond them. That is the ultimate reason behind asceticism and fasting of all kinds: we renounce something, even if it is good, in function of getting in touch with its deeper source of life itself, God.

This asceticism, through which we are trying to come to the silence of life, will require at some point a life of silence, a deliberate, disciplined effort (not to stop thinking and feeling since this is impossible) but to put ourselves in touch with what is beyond our thoughts and feelings at their origins.

A Hindu text tells us that God is found in “nourishment”, in what is seen, heard, and understood, but adds immediately that we only experience our activities as bearing God if we also, at times, deliberately halt those activities and go into silence so that we can see what’s behind them.

The practices of meditation and contemplation, no matter what particular technique we use, have this precisely as their aim, namely, to practice a little bit “a life of silence” so as to sit in “the silence of life.”

Nothing so much approximates the language of God as does silence. It’s a language we need to practice. (Ron Rolheiser, OMI)

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Father Melaku Tafesse Amente