But our society values busy-ness, not stillness. Silence, we often think, means doing nothing. Thomas Merton challenges that thought. “The contemplative,” says Merton, “is not merely a man who likes to sit and think.” The purpose of contemplation, he continues, is “to entertain silence in my heart and listen for the voice of God.”
Prayer and listening to God’s voices have no point and no reality unless they are firmly rooted in life. Listening silences created by prayer are filled with God’s presence and wonder that lead us out into the world.