top of page

Silent Sunday

Return to Silence


This silent Sunday is an invitation to return to silence. Our lives so quickly become filled with content, activity and noise, and with that we feel scattered, with a sense of heaviness or overwhelm. So I invite you to respond to the beckoning of God in the silence as you join in with the music, readings, quiet prayer and reflections around this theme.

Opening music:

Psalm 131 - Come to the QuietJohn Michael Talbot
00:00 / 03:22


Lord, my heart is not proud
Nor are my eyes fixed on things beyond me
In the quiet, I have stilled my soul
Like a child at rest on its mother's knee
I have stilled my soul within me.

Israel, come and hope in your Lord
Do not set your eyes on things far beyond you
Just come to the quiet, come and still your soul
Like a child at rest on its daddy's knee
Come and still your soul completely.

Centering prayer / meditation:

Martha Beck wrote: "In the silence I feel a gentle and infinite peace - it trickles into me like cool water down a parched throat."

 I invite you to rest in the gentle and infinite peace of silence (you can choose between a guided time of prayer and a 20 minute time of simple silence below). If you find your mind wandering, gently let go of your thoughts and return to silence, to being present, to awareness of your breath or your sacred word.

Quiet prayerGuided
00:00 / 13:05
Twenty minute timerSilent
00:00 / 20:28

Listen to the following music as an ending to the time of prayer:

Be still and know that I am GodSimon de Voil
00:00 / 03:48


Be still and know that I am God

Be still and know that I am

Be still and know that I 

Be still and know that 

Be still and know 

Be still and 

Be still 


Be still and know that I am Love...

Be still and know that I am Peace...

Sacred Reading:

Read the following readings through twice or three times, with an attitude of open receptivity. Listen for any words that call out to you, or that draw you into the sacredness of silence.

Psalm 132 

Enter into the Silence, into the Heart of Truth;

For herein lies the Great Mystery

Where life is ever unfolding;

Herein the Divine Plan is made known, the Plan all are invited to serve.

Listen for the music of the Holy Word in the resounding Silence of the universe.

May balance and harmony be your aim as you are drawn into the Heart of Love.

Those who follow the way of Love with calm and faith-filled intent,

Know that all is working toward healing and wholeness.

And may the healing power of love lift you from the limitations of fear

and ignorance into the arms of freedom.

May the peace of the Spirit bless you, and lead you on life's journey.

Be not afraid of the Silence, for Wisdom's Voice is heard there!

As you follow the Light, you become gentle and kind,

you come to live in the Light.

Children enter the world radiating the Spirit -- learn from them of innocence and simplicity; Learn to co-operate with the unseen realms, to see beyond the veil.

Wise are those who learn through silence; learn then to listen well.

For beyond the silence and stillness within, you will come to know a profound

and dazzling Silence --

Herein lies the music of the spheres, the harmony of creation.

Enter into the Holy Temple of your soul,

converse with the Beloved in sweet communion.

Blessings of the Great Silence be with you as you help to

rebuild the heart of the world with love!

~ From Psalms for Praying, by Nan Merrill

But the silence in the mind

But the silence in the mind is when we live best,

within listening distance of the silence we call God.

This is the deep calling to deep of the psalm-writer,

The bottomless ocean we launch the armada of our thoughts on, never arriving.

It is a presence, then, whose margins are our margins;

that calls us out over our own fathoms.

What to do but draw a little nearer to

such ubiquity by remaining still?

~ RS Thomas

For Further Reflection:

I encourage you to spend some time in further reflection on this theme. Below are some of the quotes from the talk and additional quotes for you to take this theme further.

Soren Kierkegaard:

“The present state of the world, the whole of life, is diseased.

If I were a doctor and were asked for my advice, I would reply:

Create silence! Bring people to silence.

The Word of God cannot be heard in the noisy world of today.

Create silence.”

Maggie Ross: 

"To choose silence as the mind's default in an accelerating consumer culture—a culture that sustains itself by dehumanizing people through the unrelenting pressure of clamor, confusion, and commodification—is indeed a subversive act."

Martin Laird

"We progress in overcoming the illusion of separation from God when we learn how to deal with the barrage of thoughts that pummels us into misery."

My journal entry:

"I am reminded that prayer is to be 'delivered' from contingent identites, and have the muddy waters cleared of the grasping, resisting and stories of the mind. I have allowed myself to become so content-laden, and then "I" try to grasp at a spiritual state or realisation, or even at emptiness! I am reminded that it's more of a gentle dissolution of "me" and "my", by resting in quietness and trust in the Divine Healer, Who knows what and how to free all this stuckness. Just rest in this calm abiding."

Fred LaMotte:

"There are moments of awakening when the silence of our Being speaks more wisdom than all the words of the Gospel. ... But most of the time, we fear to plunge into the groundless golden void that yearns to hold us, to breathe us, to refresh us with astonishment. We willfully overlook the magnetic longing that emanates from our very core. Instead, we try to grasp and own the fleeting details of the peripheral world, until a manic absurdity exhausts us, forcing us to collapse, because there is nowhere else to flee. Yet gladly and gracefully we collapse. We collapse into God's yearning for us, which we find at last in the radiance of our own heart."

James Finley: 

"Prayer begins to take on its full dimensions only when we begin to intuit that the subtle nothingness of prayer is everything. ... We find ourselves in a solitary silence that skirts the edge of the abyss that is at once our own nothingness and the plenitude of God. ... We are called upon to live Christ’s life. We are called into the desert to meet the demon within. We are called to face God alone in the night of our own solitude. We are called to die with Jesus, in order to live with him. We are asked to lose all, to be emptied out, in order to be filled with the very fullness of God."

Jacob Needleman: 

"The proper work of the mind is to function at two levels, the level of silence and the level of expression. And it is expression that is secondary—that is, truth in the form of words and formulations can come only out of silence . . . The mind alone—the mind that is not nourished by the silence of the fertile void of pure Being—as such is incapable of guiding human life. ... This, in sum, is the tragedy of our era, of our knowledge in the modern world. All that science has brought us—the phenomenal, wondrous discoveries it has brought us about life, matter and the universe—will eventually bring us nothing but destruction because we have forgotten that the mind alone cannot direct itself or the whole of ourselves."

Cynthia Bourgeault: 

"Word and silence belong together in an organic and mutually life-giving way, rather like breathing."

Thomas Merton: 

"Silence is crucially important for spiritual freedom."  

Ilie Cioara: 

"How could this small shell, which is the human mind, embrace and comprehend the immensity of the ocean of Cosmic Energy? Nevertheless, this audacious “ego” persistently affirms that he knows what God is, what is creative Love, immortality etc. More so, it states and even offers solutions to tackling and solving the great problems that challenge humankind. Yet this “ego” is not aware of one thing: that its own presence creates the whole tragedy and suffering on the entire surface of the Earth. It is the human being’s main and only enemy. Its fictitious, chaotic and misleading movement generates and maintains the human misery and suffering. But when a ray of light, emanated by Pure Consciousness, pierces the limited shell of the mind and exposes its whole fiction, this mind becomes humble and silent.” ... "Once you have discovered true life, it transforms you, and through it, it transforms the whole humanity, for in the Great Whole – real essence through itself and by itself – everything that exists forms a unique, compact, homogenous mass. The transformation of one part naturally influences the whole."

Ending Prayer:

For You alone our souls wait in silence; our hope is from the Beloved.

Enfolding us with strength and steadfast love,

Our refuge and Source of life.

In the Silence rests our clarity, our freedom and our guidance;

May we carry this Silence into our world

As a healing balm for others;

May the blessings of the Great Silence go with us as we help to

rebuild the heart of the world with love!


(Adapted from Psalm 62 and 132, paraphrased by Nan Merrill)

Ending music:

In the silence of the heartAudrey Assad
00:00 / 05:30


You liberate me from my own noise and my own chaos
From the chains of a lesser law You set me free
You liberate me from my own noise and my own chaos
From the chains of a lesser law You set me free

In the silence of the heart You speak
In the silence of the heart You speak
And it is there that I will know You
And You will know me
In the silence of the heart
You speak, You speak.

You satisfy me till I am quiet and confident
In the work of the Spirit I cannot see.
You satisfy me till I am quiet and confident
In the work of the Spirit I cannot see.

In the silence of the heart You speak.

We would appreciate any donations so that we can continue making resources like this available at no cost.
Donate here...
A very warm thank you to all of you who have donated so generously.

To see a list of additional resources click here...

If you are not already on our mailing list you can subscribe here...
Deeper cover smaller.jpg

Sharon's book that was previously called "Contemplative Living" has been republished by AnamChara Books under the title "Deeper: Finding the Depth Dimension Beneath the Surface of Life". The Kindle version is available from Amazon, and the hard copy version can be ordered from or Takealot, or from your local bookshop through Ingram Distribution.

bottom of page