Here are 2 more books on Silence, a must-have at least for me. Maggie Ross is a professed Anglican Solitary educated at Yale and former professor at Oxford. Fr. Martin Laird, also Oxford-educated, is professor at Villanova University. Since I don’t have a credit card, I can only rely on Divine Providence for these books to reach my hands and mind. My University, considered one of the best in the country doesn’t even have Fr. Laird’s first volume Into the Silent Land nor has it acquired yet Douglas Burton-Christie’s much-acclaimed dissertation-turned-into-book The Word in the Desert: Scripture and the Quest for Holiness in Early Christian Monasticism (1993 – also by Oxford U Press). I believe one of these days, my life will be devoted to teaching about contemplative silence and free ministry to the sick.
Writing the Icon of the Heart: In Silence Beholding
‘Maggie Ross clears away the ‘white noise’ that so often attends writing and talking about faith. She invites us into real quiet, which is also real presence, presence to ourselves and to the threefold mystery that eludes our concepts and even our ordinary ideas of ‘experience’. A really transformative book.’ — Archbishop Rowan Williams
A Sunlit Absence: Silence, Awareness, and Contemplation
“In this companion volume to his bestselling Into the Silent Land, Laird focuses on a quality often overlooked by books on Christian meditation: a vast and flowing spaciousness that embraces both silence and sound, and transcends all subject/object dualisms. Drawing on the wisdom of great contemplatives from St. Augustine and St. Teresa of Avila to St. Hesychios, Simone Weil, and many others, Laird shows how we can uncover the deeper levels of awareness that rest within us like buried treasure waiting to be found. The key insight of the book is that as our practice matures, so will our experience of life’s ordeals, sorrows, and joys expand into generous, receptive maturity. We learn to see whatever difficulties we experience in meditation–boredom, lethargy, arrogance, depression, grief, anxiety–not as obstacles to be overcome but as opportunities to practice surrender to what is. With clarity and grace Laird shows how we can move away from identifying with our turbulent, ever-changing thoughts and emotions to the cultivation of a “sunlit absence”–the luminous awareness in which God’s presence can most profoundly be felt.”