If you read the Bible, do you approach it with silence?
How does your day begin and end – in chatter, activity, amid technology, or in peaceful quietude?
The importance of the practice of silence, especially in our spiritual life, is explained and commended by Dietrich Bonhoeffer in Life Together (Harper, 1954):
“The mark of solitude is silence, as speech is the mark of community…One does not exist without the other. Right speech comes out of silence, and right silence comes out of speech.
“… Silence is the simple stillness of the individual under the Word of God. We are silent before hearing the Word because our thoughts are already directed to the Word, as a child is quiet when he enters his father’s room. We are silent after hearing the Word because the Word is still speaking and dwelling within us. We are silent at the beginning of the day because God should have the first word, and we are silent at the end of the day because the last word also belongs to God.
“…everybody knows that this is something that needs to be practiced and learned, in these days when talkativeness prevails. Real silence, real stillness, really holding one’s tongue comes only as the sober consequence of spiritual stillness” (78-79).