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Interior Silence

  • is an interior state in which we detach ourselves from our thoughts and desires
  • is one of life’s most strengthening and affirming experiences
  • is ‘where’ God brings the “new you” to life, gives life its truest meaning, and leads to friendship with God
  • is effective when one is not even aware of being silent
  • does not need to be prolonged in order to produce its effects, but needs to be practiced everyday
  • opens us to a level of consciousness beyond imagination, reflection, and ordinary desires
  • transforms, nourishes and refreshes body, mind, and spirit
  • in Centering Prayer, is the sacred word at its deepest level 

  • HW: 32, 57-62, 64-66
  • OMOH: 34, 35, 37, 53-56, 64, 68-69, 83, 100,101, 118, 120
  • IG: 153
  • BP: 101
  • CF: 67 

There is an important connection between vocal prayer and the experience of interior silence. The Word of God emerges from the infinite silence of the Father, the source of the divine life, and returns to Him. Activity that emerges from the silence of contemplation is effective and is renewed and strengthened when it returns to stillness.

Related Concepts




God’s first language is silence. Interior silence is the sacred word or symbol expressed at its deepest level. The Word of God emerges from the infinite silence of the Father, the source of all that is. When our life emerges from periods of silence, it is more genuine and integrated. When we return to silence, our life receives its truest meaning.

Interior silence does not have to be prolonged to produce its effects. It is the quality of interior silence that transforms, nourishes and refreshes. The most effective silence takes place when we are not aware of being silent, when we have merged our own identity with the mystery of Christ and the presence of God.

In interior silence, our thoughts are “laid aside”, as Evagrius Pontus described it. We are then in our spirit, and we come closer to Christ, even without realizing it.

St. John of the Cross says that we are attracted to God as our center. If we remove the obstacles of the ego-self with its paraphernalia and surrender ourselves to God, we penetrate through the various layers of our psyche until we reach the very core of our being. This core is the indwelling Trinity who anoints our soul and heals our deepest wounds. From this Presence, our whole being emerges at every moment.

To remain at this center in the midst of activity is what Christ called the “Kingdom of God” * , the “reign of God”, or “eternal life”. * The Kingdom of God is not a political entity or even a place, but a state of consciousness, and more precisely, Christ’s consciousness of the Father in His human nature.

When we speak of developing interior silence, we are referring to a relative degree of silence. Interior silence is primarily a state of prayer in which we do not become attached to thoughts as they go by. There is great value in praying at the same time every day and for the same duration. This provides a stable reservoir of silence. Living each day with two periods of deep prayer gives the maximum opportunity for our reservoir of silence to affect the activities of the whole day.

Interior silence is one of the most strengthening and affirming of human experiences. At this level, the Word of God is powerful and creative. As God brings the “new you” to life in interior silence, His view of things becomes more important to you than your own.

Alternating between interior silence and action gradually brings the two together. When fully integrated, we are a contemplative and yet fully capable of intense action. We are Martha and Mary at once. We all have these two capacities, but they show up in different proportions in people. By bringing each of them to full potential and integrating them, we become mature Christians and enter the Transforming Union. Action in this state manifests Christ in all our activities and is extremely effective.


 Reflection: Listening

Interior silence as a state is not attached to thoughts. Interior silence teaches us how to pay no attention to thoughts.

Reflection: Reflecting

In what ways has your quality of interior silence improved? How has interior silence changed your consciousness?

Reflection: Responding

Pray a period of time every day in a contemplative way. Integrate contemplation and action.