To Hear What Is Essential

“What is important for a monk is what he finds in his heart when all the noise of the surrounding world is silenced. There appears to be a consciousness, an understanding that can only surface when we muster the courage to accept our solitude—and to do so in a deeply silent way. A female guest at the abbey expressed it beautifully: “Dans le silence, on n’entend que l’essentiel” (In the silence, one only hears what is essential). First and foremost, the monks taught me the inestimable value of silence. To be (become) a real human being is impossible without moments of silence, without a bit of seclusion, without desert.” ~Bieke Vanderkerckhove, The Taste of Silence: How I Came to Be at Home with Myself