Thomas À Kempis on silence and solitude

Thursday, February 11, 2010
“In quiet and silence the faithful soul makes progress, the hidden meanings of the Scriptures become clear, and the eyes weep with devotion every night.  Even as one learns to grow still, he draws closer to the Creator and farther from the hurly-burly of the world.  As one divests himself of friends and acquaintances, he is visited by God and his holy angels.”

600 years ago Thomas À Kempis


  1. This post and the one before it zinged me right through the heart via the Holy Spirit. My husband is about to take a parish in the smallest most isolated town I have ever lived in. "Divesting" myself of my friends has been the worst part of this but I am highly encouraged by this quote. Blessings on Thomas A Kempis and on you as you pastor in The Field. If God is giving you grace then perhaps I can trust for myself also to be able to receive that grace to slow down in my new town.

  2. Grace be with you Susan, grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love as you go.

  3. Thank you very much. God is good and faithful. Your blog has provided quite a bit of help to us as we made this difficult decision.

  4. The pythonesque side of me imagined him saying this shortly before some or other pope decided to have him executed 'for the good of the church' but as far as I know he died naturally.

    I did however find this: "His life is no doubt fittingly characterized by the words under an old picture first referred to by Francescus Tolensis: "In all things I sought quiet and found it not save in retirement and in books."". Of course we need men like this, but they also need to be balanced by those that go out and live in the noise and hurley burley of the world. Great to go find God in the quiet places, but we must make sure we find him in the bustle and busy times too.

    For many of us, quiet is a bit like somewhere we go on holiday: a lovely place that we can seldom afford to visit.

  5. Quietness, peace and solitude,we NEED this. We really do.There is so much turmoil going on in this old world. It is very hard to focus on that in the so-called busy world. Hearing the still small voice of the Holy Spirit in the bustle of busyness - extremely hard. Jean

  6. Statistically speaking it seems like a few of us are called to go live in the quieter places while biblically speaking all of us are invited to have the quiet space alive within us.

    Which begs the question I've been asking myself, are people who cannot be still inside, spiritually healthy?

    There are seasons I'm all go go go inside, and I know pastors (and others) who are always paddling 50 miles an hour inside, all the time and they say it's just their personality.

    Is this talk of inner peace and quiet just for certain individuals, or is it a pace we all need to go to?

  7. As I read your blog yesterday...and today, the thought that came to mind...what experience with my Lord has taught me...the fuller my life is with the busyness of life, the less filled I am.
    To be truly fulfilled and to be able to carry out the things I have to do and go the places I have to go I can seldom afford to neglect the 'quiet' each day...and if He gives me an entire day I have to remember to feel blessed rather than sorry for myself. Not easy...but very worth it.
    When I neglect the 'quiet' times with Him, handling the busyness gets harder and harder...I mess up, I fall apart, I don't hear Him, I don't do the things I should do, the fruit of the Spirit becomes less evident in my life...the list goes on and on.
    I have to believe this doesn't just apply to me, but to everyone.
    Making time for the 'quiet' is vital for our relationship with be filled with Him. I still have to determine to make time for Him some days or it doesn't happen.
    When I think of what God is teaching us when we slow down and are awash in the 'quiet'! Our cups runneth over.

  8. I wonder what he would have said about the distractions on the Internet.

  9. Vanessa, I think you are right on. We DO ALL need theat solitude or we might become spiritually dead. That is the way it is for me, anyway and I don't think I am any different than anyone else, or am I? Jean

  10. On the post to Vanessa - is there another Jean here because that is not my post. Jean Harder


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