Scorsese’s Silence: A Four-Question Examination of Conscience

Anyone who missed Martin Scorsese's big-screen interpretation of Shusaku Endo's novel Silence hasn't had much of a wait for its video release. Having read the haunting novel several years ago, I jumped at the chance to experience the screen version when SILENCE appeared on the marquee of my small-town theater during Lent. I knew its dark … Continue reading Scorsese’s Silence: A Four-Question Examination of Conscience

Annie Dillard: Silence and Speaking Stones

Annie Dillard has long been one of my very favorite writers, with Pilgrim at Tinker Creek and An American Childhood among my most beloved books. Dillard leaves me alive and awake, grateful for each feather that falls beneath my back-yard juniper, for the sunrise glow illuminated through spring-snow icicles on the crab apple branches.  For … Continue reading Annie Dillard: Silence and Speaking Stones

Pondering Silence and Exuberant Praise: The Example of Mary, Mother of God

"Mary's silence is admirable," notes the Navarre Bible's commentary on Matthew 1:19, in which Joseph, distressed and perplexed at the pregnancy of his betrothed, is told in a dream not to be afraid to marry her, "for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit." Apparently Mary's trust that God would take … Continue reading Pondering Silence and Exuberant Praise: The Example of Mary, Mother of God

A Fellow Babbling Brook Learns to Tame Her Tongue

Taming the tongue is daunting, a seemingly impossible task for those of us who are naturally wordy.  Several years ago I found hope in Paula Huston's book, The Holy Way: Practices for a Simple Life.  Huston, a creative nonfiction teacher, National Endowment of the Arts Fellow and author of nine books, is obviously gifted with … Continue reading A Fellow Babbling Brook Learns to Tame Her Tongue

Kierkegaard’s Remedy for the Modern World: Create Silence

"If I were a physician, and if I were allowed to prescribe just one remedy for all the ills of the modern world, I would prescribe silence." When I consider that Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard wished he could prescribe silence in the 1800's, I'm overwhemed.  I long for his "noisy" world compared to the one I … Continue reading Kierkegaard’s Remedy for the Modern World: Create Silence

An Invitation from a Babbling Brook: Focus on Speech and Silence

A few weeks into the new year, I check the liturgical calendar for Ash Wednesday's date and begin pondering a focus for Lent. Though the Lenten season feels long and challenging, I've gradually come to love the season famous for “giving something up.” Why do I love Lent, with its penitential preparation for Holy Week … Continue reading An Invitation from a Babbling Brook: Focus on Speech and Silence