Silence

“Those who love God should attempt to preserve or create an atmosphere in which He can be found.  Christians should have quiet homes.  Throw out television, if necessary — not everybody, but those who take this sort of thing seriously.  Radios useless.  Stay away from the movies — I was going to say ‘as a penance’ but it would seem to me to be rather a pleasure than a penance, to stay away from the movies.  Maybe even form small agrarian communities in the country where there would be no radios, etc.

“Let those who can stand a little silence find other people who like silence, and create silence and peace for one another.  Bring up their kids not to yell so much.  Children are naturally quiet — if they are left alone and not given the needle from the cradle upward, in order that they may develop into citizens of a state in which everybody yells and is yelled at.  (pp. 301-302)

“…When you gain this interior silence you can carry it around with you in the world, and pray everywhere.  But just as interior asceticism cannot be acquired without concrete and exterior mortification, so it is absurd to talk about interior silence where there is no exterior silence. (p. 302)”

-Thomas Merton The Sign of Jonas, excerpted in Henri Nouwen’s Pray to Live, pp. 118-119.

Quiet children.  Now there’s an idea…   Not just shut up, but naturally peaceful and quiet.   But how to go about it?

On that note, Samantha is now crawling!  It’s not perfect crawling, she uses on knee and one foot, but it gets her across the room, and she can now crawl up to me and pull herself up a little on my pant leg and express that she wants something.  Along with crawling has come a banshee baby sound, which tends to mean, “Lucy took my toy from me again!”  But for the moment they are actually sleeping, and I can think about silence.

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