Quotes from The Power of Silence by Robert Cardinal Sarah

07-22-2021Recommended Resources

Published by Ignatius Press in September 2018

“Although speech characterizes man, silence is what defines him, because speech acquires sense only in terms of this silence.”

“Solitude and silence are guests of the soul. The soul that possesses them carries them with it everywhere. The one that lacks them finds them nowhere. In order to re-enter silence, it is not enough to stop the movement of one’s lips and the movement of one’s thoughts. That is only being quiet. Being quiet is a condition for silence, but it is not silence."

“Only the silence of a heart-to-heart conversation with God is a solid rock.”“The transubstantiation of bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ, the most extraordinary, the most momentous transformation, occurs in the utmost sacred silence. We hear the priest pronounce the words of the consecration, but the miracle of transubstantiation comes about imperceptibly, like all the greatest works of God. Silence is the law of the divine plans.”

“We must try to be Mary before becoming Martha.”

“Keeping quiet by mastering one’s lips and tongue is a difficult, blazing, and arid work.”

“A man without silence is a stranger to God, exiled in a distant land that remains at the surface of the mystery of man and the world; but God is at the deepest part of man, in the silent regions of his being.”

“There is a great risk that Christians may become idolaters if they lose the meaning of silence. Our words inebriate us; they confine us to what is created. Bewitched and imprisoned by the noise of human speech, we run the risk of designing worship to our specifications, a god in our own image.”

“The Cross is a great school of contemplation, prayer, and forgiveness. We have to learn to stand silently at the foot of the Cross while contemplating the Crucified Lord as the Virgin Mary did.”

“We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noises and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. The more we receive in silent prayer, the more we can give in active life. We need silence to be able to touch souls. The essential thing is not what we say, but what God says to us and through us.”