"The ascetic's fundamental contribution to Christian orthodoxia as a life of cosmic normality is not education or good works, but an exemplary existence kept clean, clear, and free from this world's intense and warping abnormality. It is a life of lucid and abiding clarity which goes with the grain of reality at every point. Charity emerges from such an unbeholden life, a charity which is absolutely requisite in coming to true knowledge of even the created universe by natural reason. Only from such knowledge can there then arise knowledge of God, theologia, and the supreme beatitude of seeing and knowing God face to face." 

- Aidan Kavanagh, OSB (1929 - 2006) -

"The life of the priest is My life in heaven: ceaseless attention to the Father and uninterrupted intercession, thanksgiving, reparation, and praise on behalf of all men."

- Our Lord Jesus Christ to a Benedictine monk, recorded in In Sinu Jesu, (published 2016) -  

"By the vow of stability the life of the monk is rooted in peace. He is protected against his natural restlessness. He is reminded that he does not need to travel across the face of the earth to find God. He is reassured of the fact that he no longer lives a life that can be contained within the limits of measured space. His journeys are no longer spatial but spiritual, and his ascent to God is, in fact, a descent into the depths of his own humility. It is clear also that the monk's 'stability' is not made in an earthly place so much as in a spiritual family."  

- Thomas Merton (1915-1968) -

"The relation of man, especially Homeric man, to God is naturally dialogical (and prayerful); reason - on its solitary search for 'Being as a whole' - and philosophical man - the man of reason - are monological. The beginning of philosophy marks the 'abrupt' end of the 'dialogical act of prayer.' A 'knowledge that keeps itself to itself' replaces the 'heart that dares risk itself.'" 

- Fr Raymond Gawronski (+2016) -

"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. Silence is a word, silence is a thought. It is a word and a thought in which all words and all thoughts are concentrated."

- Dom Augustin Guillerand, O Carth. (1877-1945) -

"I am certain that silence is a divine liberation that unifies man and places him at the center of himself, in the depths of God's mysteries. In silence, man is absorbed by the divine and the world's movements no longer have any hold on his soul. In silence, we set out from God and we arrive at God."

- Robert Cardinal Sarah - 

"Vivid mindfulness of death embraces many virtues. It begets grief; it promotes the exercise of self-control in all things; it is a reminder of hell; it is the mother of prayer and tears; it induces guarding of the heart and detachment from material things; it is a source of attentiveness and discrimination. These in their turn produce the twofold fear of God. In addition, the purging of impassioned thoughts from the heart embraces many of the Lord's commandments. The harsh hour-by-hour struggle in which so many athletes of Christ are engaged has as its aim precisely this purging of the heart."

 - St Philotheos of Sinai (9th or 10th Century) - 

"Passionateness is removed from the soul through fasting and prayer; self-indulgence through vigil and silence; and impassioned craving through stillness and attentiveness. Dispassion is established through remembrance of God." 

- Ilias the Presbyter (11th or 12th Century) - 

"First there is provocation; then a coupling with the provocation; then assent to it; then captivity to it; then passion, grown habitual and continuous. This is how the holy fathers describe the stages through which the devil gets the better of us.

"Provocation, they say, is a thought still free from passion, or an image newly engendered in the heart and glimpsed by the intellect. Coupling is to commune with this thought or image, in either an impassioned or a dispassionate way. Assent is the pleasurable acceptance by the soul of the thing seen. Captivity is the forcible and enforced abduction of the heart, or persistent intercourse with the object, disrupting even our best state. Passion, in the strict sense, they define as that which lurks impassionably in the soul over a long period. Of these stages the first is sinless; the second, not altogether free from sin; the sinfulness of the third stage depends on our inner state; and the struggle itself brings us either punishment or crowns of victory. 

"The person who rebuffs the initial provocation, or who regards it dispassionately, has at one stroke cut off all the sinful stages that follow.

"Let us cut sin out of our heart, and we will find within us the kingdom of heaven. Let us preserve our heart's purity and always be filled with deep compunction towards God through this best of undertakings." 

- St Philotheos of Sinai (9th or 10th Century) - 

"As for interior silence, it can be achieved by the absence of memories, plans, interior speech, worries.... Still more important, thanks to an act of the will, it can result from the absence of disordered affections or excessive desires. The Fathers of the Church assign an eminent place to silence in the ascetical life." 

- Robert Cardinal Sarah - 

"To me, the least of all the saints, is given this grace, to preach among the Gentiles, the unsearchable riches of Christ. And to enlighten all men, that they may see what is the dispensation of the mystery which hath been hidden from eternity in God, who created all things: That the manifold wisdom of God may be made known to the principalities and powers in heavenly places through the church, according to the eternal purpose, which he made, in Christ Jesus our Lord: In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him. Wherefore I pray you not to faint at my tribulations for you, which is your glory. For this cause I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom all paternity in heaven and earth is named, that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened by his Spirit with might unto the inward man, that Christ may dwell by faith in your hearts; that being rooted and founded in charity, you may be able to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth, and length, and height, and depth: To know also the charity of Christ, which surpasseth all knowledge, that you may be filled unto all the fulness of God. Now to him who is able to do all things more abundantly than we desire or understand, according to the power that worketh in us; To him be glory in the church, and in Christ Jesus unto all generations, world without end. Amen."

-St Paul to the Ephesians (3:8-21) -

"In the presence of God, in silence, we become meek and humble of heart. God's meekness and humility penetrate us, and we enter into a real conversation with him. Humility is a condition and a result of silence. Silence needs meekness and humility, and it also opens for us the way to these two qualities. The humblest, meekest, and most silent of all beings is God. Silence is the only means by which to enter into this great mystery of God." 

- Robert Cardinal Sarah - 

“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 men to silence.
The Word of God cannot be heard in the noisy world of today.
Create silence.'”
- Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) -

"There are external situations that should promote interior silence. It is necessary to provide ourselves with the means of the best possible environment for finding within us the silence that allows us to be in intimate communion with God. Christ very clearly recommends this search for intimacy: 'When you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to the Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you' (Mt 6:6). But our real room is precisely ourselves. Man is invited to enter into himself so as to remain alone with God." 

- Robert Cardinal Sarah -