Sunday, July 26, 2020

silence shall be my answer

All things change and die and disappear.
Questions arrive, assume their actuality, and disappear.
In this hour I shall cease to ask them 
and silence shall be my answer.
The world that Your love created,
that the heat has distorted,
that my mind is always misinterpreting,
shall cease to interfere with our voices.

~ Thomas Merton
from Dialogues with Silence
The true contemplative is not one who prepares his mind for a particular message
 that he wants or expects to hear, but is one who remains empty
 because he knows that he can never expect to anticipate the words 
that will transform his darkness into light.  He does not even anticipate
 a special kind of transformation.  He does not demand light instead of darkness.
  He waits in silence, and, when he is "answered," it is not so much by a word
 that bursts into his silence.  It is by his silence itself, suddenly, inexplicably
 revealing itself to him as a word of great power, full of the voice of God.

from The Climate of Monastic Prayer
(one of last books he prepared for publication)
sketch by the author


Luke Storms said...

Hi there. I've been visiting your wonderful collection here regularly (and reposting a lot of your fine material, with a link back to you, of course). I just wanted to say, thank you, it has been extremely helpful for me to come across many of these poems that serve as reminders that there is another dimension to life--a vertical one, not just the horizontal.



Dean Keller said...

Hi Luke. Your thoughts and encouragement are much appreciated. Your insightful and varied blog postings continue to provide inspiration for many, of whom I am one. Your comments are always welcome, thanks.


Chase said...


This is a beautiful portrait. I'd like to contact you about receiving a print of it for personal display, but I can't find an e-mail or contact link anywhere on the site. Could you please contact me at the included link?


Dean Keller said...


The sketch was taken here from the book, "Dialogues with Silence"
Copyright 2001 by the Merton Legacy Trust, published by Harper San Francisco, a division of Harper Collins Publishers.


Mystic Meandering said...

Wow - I love the commentary at the end... Timely words for me as I endeavor to "wait in silence" with no agenda, listening to a deeper "realm", for the "voice of Silence" to reveal Itself... Am so glad you resurrected this post from 2010! Still so relevant - of course :)