In Silence by Thomas Merton: Reading and Meditation

June 22, 2020  • Todd Breyfogle

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In Silence, Thomas Merton


The dialogue we have with ourselves gets in the way of silence. The noise around us drowns out our internal conversation. But when our surroundings become quiet, our inner rooms become a cacophony more distracting than the world around us. “In Silence” lets us listen in on an interior conversation at the same time it engages us in conversation. There is a motion from listening out to listening in, from thinking to being. Am I my own silence or the silence of the walls around me? “I will try, like them/to be my own silence:/and this is difficult.” The last stanza responds to the voice advising that we be still. How can I be still when the world around me is on fire? And yet, I cannot be always in motion, even in service to the world. The world is silently on fire. May we be warmed by the silence, not burned, and never cold.

Todd Breyfogle, Denver, Colorado

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