Molchanie: The Silence of God

This morning, as I sat by the river after finishing my morning prayers, I contemplated how irrevocably the landscape of my life has been altered from solstice to solstice, and I made the spontaneous decision to stop wearing my watch. I am no longer bound to schedules of any kind and I am free to get lost in the Present Moment.

As I sat in the Silent Stillness of this grey Winter morning, I recalled a book I read a quarter century ago, and rediscovered a couple of nights ago:

Molchanie: The Silence of God.

This book was written by Catherine De Hueck Doherty, a Russian immigrant to Canada in the early 20th century. Her vocation drew her to minister to those who lived in impoverished areas in Ontario, and she is best known for establishing Madonna House, a lay apostolate and community.

I retrieved the book before meditating at midnight. It took me a while to find it in my collection of books. And then I sat and read sections underlined a half lifetime ago...

This book discusses the many kinds of silence that we experience and it is an invitation to make a pilgrimage into the Silence of God - which is the richest, most satisfying of silences.

Catherine begins with a poem:

Is a dark night

Where first

The soul

Meets its death to self.

Where noise

Cannot abide

Not noise of word

But thoughts.

Silence is a school

Of Love and death

That leads to



Is a dark night

Soul and mind

To wait

For light

That is God's speech.


Is a school of

Love and death

Where soul

Meets life.


Is the key

To the immense

Furnace of Love--

The heart of


Silence is


Of passionate love


In the arms of God.


With the Lord!

And this quote from her book:

"When we reach the silver sands and plunge into the great sea of God's silence, we begin to understand that he alone is God - Lover, Friend, the totality of gentleness, peace, and rest. He calls us and we cannot resist that call. We have to be alone with him. It is a necessity, it is a hunger. It has been said that prayer is a hunger. But this Christ walks with loneliness and rejection, and so must we."

There is so much richness in this book...

"If we love God, we shall be able to look upon rejection as a great blessing."

"Solitude is being alone with God. But silence is an immense sea into which you enter and never leave."

There is much to plumb in this simple tome. I re-discover a book a quarter century later, and read it with new eyes, and imbibe its wisdom with a more seasoned heart.


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