Silence & Solitude

Silence:
Ruth Haley Barton, in her book, Invitation to Solitude and Silence, states that “In silence we create space for God’s activity rather than filling every moment with our own,”

The benefits are:
1.    We learn to hear and notice what we are thinking and feeling
2.    We learn to confront our addictions to entertainment or stimulation or work and discover who we are without them
3.    We are confronted with our compulsions and how much we are distracted
4.    We have an opportunity to learn to listen more fully to God in Scripture and to the Holy Spirit through His work in our souls… in order to solidify our sense of self in the presence of God and be more fully prepared to bring that presence to others
Silence in the presence of Christ becomes a gift we offer others as we fully listen to them.

Solitude:
Richard J. Foster, in his collection, Spiritual Classics, describes the powerful impact of solitude in helping us discern how we struggle relationally. “Solitude, you see, gives us the space to look carefully and prayerfully at all the hair-trigger responses we have for doing and saying exactly the opposite of how Jesus taught us to live.”

The benefits are:
1.    We remove any need to interact with others that might keep us from noticing ourselves
2.    We remove any obsessive orientation towards meeting the expectations of others or needing the affirmation of others
3.    We practice relinquishing the burdens of others to God and learn to notice our relationships with fresh eyes
In Solitude with God we relinquish our loneliness so as to offer ourselves freely to others.