Sunday, February 23, 2014

Into the Silence

Artwork: Night by Edward Burne-Jones
One foot in time

One foot in eternity

O, be still my mind

Be still my soul

For in the deepest silence

of the human soul

lies the peace which

surpasses all understanding

and in the quiet chambers

of a peaceful heart
                                                                time stands still

                                                                and eternity begins


Late have I loved you, O Beauty ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved you! You were within me, but I was outside, and it was there that I searched for you.        St. Augustine

Cultivating inner silence is an important part of prayer. In the midst of the clamor of the world, which is louder than ever in our day, I would go so far as to say this silent time is imperative for most of us because it is in the silent sanctuary of our souls that we find the rest we so desperately need, it is there we find the "peace that surpasses all understanding". When we search for this peace on the surface of our lives it's hard to find but if we look at the calm beneath the storms of life, if we turn our gaze to the inner recesses of the soul, there we find God's steady presence.

Rather, I have stilled my soul, hushed it like a weaned child. Like a weaned child on its mother's lap, so is my soul within me.       Psalm 131:2

And behold, the veil in the sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom.  Mt.27:51

Thanks to Jesus we may enter the "inner sanctuary" - that place in our innermost being where God and the soul are in intimate communication.  It can be compared to the Holy of Holies in the temple. That place "beyond the veil" which we cannot see with our physical senses but become aware of with our spiritual senses.

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?      1 Cor. 6: 19

The ark of the commandments you shall bring inside, behind this veil, which divides this holy place from the holy of holies.            Ex.26:33

You yourself are His dwelling and His secret chamber and hiding place.       St John of the Cross

Time seems to stand still in the inner recesses of our souls. I never quite understood how this could be exactly but a good guess is that our souls don't experience time in the same way our physical bodies do. Our souls, I guess you could say, stand outside of time in some strange way, even as our physical bodies stand very firmly IN time.  Because we are body, soul, and spirit we exist both in time and outside of time. This is the reason a person can experience heaven as a spiritual state of being while still in time. Our souls rest in God who is beyond time.

What more can you desire, what more can you seek without, seeing that within you have your riches, your delight, your fullness and your kingdom; that is your Beloved, Whom you desire and seek? Rejoice, then, and be glad in Him with interior recollection, seeing that you have Him so near. Then love Him, then desire Him, then adore Him, and go not to seek Him out of yourself, for that will be but distraction and weariness, and you shall not find Him; because there is no fruition of Him more certain, more ready, or more intimate than that which is within.     
                                                  St. John of the Cross (A Spiritual Canticle of the Soul)

Here are a few beautiful scripture passages (along with  the verses and quotes I mention above) that I have been meditating on recently that deeply resonate within my soul whenever I think of the indwelling of The Holy Trinity:

I in them and you in me, that they may be brought to perfection as one, that the world may know you sent me, and that you loved them even as you loved me.                 John  17:23

"Be still and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts become troubled or afraid." John 14:27


  1. It is in true silence that we sometimes hear God in prayer.

    Thanx Mary.

    God bless.

  2. Hi Victor,
    Thanks for your comment! This time it's not a "disappearing post" at Though at times I am certainly tempted to make my posts disappear on purpose! Thank you for your e-mail :)

    1. Do not give in to temptations. Your posts give a lot of help to many people.

      God bless.

    2. That was a nice thing to say! Thank you, Victor!

  3. Hi Mary! There is such an appeal in silence. I love to sit in silence, and wait for all those noisy voices to tone down. There is so much peace, and it is timeless. Much like God has no beginning or no end, it's the same in my soul. "Be still and know" is such good advice. And that wisdom has been from centuries past. Isn't that cool?

    Happy Monday my friend!

    1. Exactly :) And yes, it IS cool! Happy Monday to you as well, Ceil!

  4. Beautiful! Me thinks that you and Nancy need to start making Memes for me to share on FB. Both of you find the best short and thought provoking quotes.

  5. Thanks, Anabelle! Whenever I find a quote I like I place them in "drafts" - that way they are there when I need them. And of course, I thieve them from Nancy. Doesn't everyone? Lol.
    (Nancy, go easy on me if you see this. My brain is only half functioning lately, you
    know :)

  6. Replies
    1. Thanks, Mallory! What does your dog have on his head?

  7. Mary,
    Great post. Enjoyed the quotes and love the painting! Thanks for sharing them.

  8. Thank you, Karin - I'm glad you liked it. The St. Augustine quote is one of my favorites!

  9. This is marvelous - such a help. And (I'm just asking) how could someone "thieve" a quote from someone else when that quote was taken from another who'd gotten it from a source who'd gotten it elsewhere instead of writing one's own quotes which other people would then start taking and passing along when of course there are such good things in abundance from saints who truly taught the faith and still do today instead of quoting which would be, like, re-gifting, or would it be considered re-thieving and so of course why should anyone try to do what the saints did so well? Yes or no?

  10. Huh?! Lol. Errr...Yes? Or is that wrong? No, maybe?

    1. Oh sorry, Nancy, the answer is: Right!

  11. Thanks, Grace :) Hugs to you too!

  12. Mary, this is wonderful! Your poem at the beginning captures the essence of the need for silence so perfectly, and the picture with it is wonderful. You are amazing!

  13. Hi Anne,
    Thank you! Hope you are well, my friend!