Silence as a Path to Augustinian Contemplation

This post was adapted from a retreat given by Fr. Allan Fitzgerald, OSA on Augustine's Routes to Contemplation.

Naturally, most important for all the routes is the element of silence in one’s life, which Augustine often proposed to the people:

Let’s leave something as well to people’s reflections, let’s generously allow something also to silence. Return to yourself, withdraw from all the din. Look inside yourself and see if you have there any pleasant private nook in your consciousness where you don’t make a row, where you don’t go to law, where you don’t prepare your case, where you don’t brood on pigheaded quarrels. Be gentle in hearing the word, in order to understand. Perhaps you will be able to say, You will give exultation and joy to my hearing, and bones will rejoice, but ones that have been humbled (Ps 51:8), not “made proud”.

Saint Augustine (Sermon 52, 9, 22)

attentive, that God lets himself be seen. Crowds are noisy; this vision requires hiddenness. “Take up your bed” (Jn 5,8), that is, having been carried yourself, carry your neighbor. “And walk”, so that you may arrive. Do not seek Jesus in crowds. He is not just one of a crowd, but goes ahead of all crowds.

Saint Augustine (In John 17, 11)

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