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Solitude and Silence: The Journey Begins

  • Traveling Companions – Desert Mothers and Fathers
  • Why is silence necessary for listening, and what happens when we enter into the silence of solitary prayer? We begin to let go of ourselves, which allows us to hear God
  • Our task is made even more difficult by the most obvious fact about the divine, a fact children constantly point out to the distress of the adults at church: We cannot see God
  • practice of listening, cultivated in the garden of silence and solitude. This ability to listen for God is the skill at the heart of the practice of prayer
  • Going out into the desert
  • people became increasingly aware of the distractions of the world, of the difficulties faced by all who would seek the mind of Christ. As this understanding grew, many in Palestine and Egypt pursued an unusual course of action: They went out into the desert to find God.
  • If you desire to seek the presence of God in your life, be silent and rest in prayer. Only through this interior quiet can you truly listen for Jesus
  • God at the Center
  • Because we cannot see God, we cannot easily tell which desires God places on our hearts and which arise from our own selfish wants
  • we slowly begin to hear God over the chattering of our own internal dialogue
  • Learning to Listen
  • I could not cause God to speak when I wanted God to speak
  • Finding Opportunities for Silence
  • entering into silence does require a certain amount of discipline and commitment
  • to notice times when silence occurs naturally in our day
  • Practicing Silence in Groups
  • spiritual power of these desert mothers and fathers drew those seeking salvation to them
  • people needed help in their spiritual journey

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