Silence is Our Ministry

Night is our diocese and silence is our ministry

Poverty our charity and helplessness our tongue-tied sermon.

Beyond the scope of sight or sound we dwell upon the air

Seeking the world’s gain in an unthinkable experience.

We are exiles in the far end of solitude, living as listeners

With hearts attending to the skies we cannot understand:

Waiting upon the first far drums of Christ the Conqueror,

Planted like sentinels upon the world’s frontier.

~Thomas Merton (1915-1968), “The Quickening of St. John the Baptist,” The Collected Poems of Thomas Merton (New Directions: 1977), 201.


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