Monday, November 4, 2013

Fuge, Terche, Et Quisset

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The desert fathers of centuries ago,” Henri Nouwen tells us, “understood the importance of a silent environment for the cultivation of the spirit when they called out to one another, Fuge, terche, et quisset – silence, solitude, and inner peace.”

Few of us can fully appreciate the terrible conspiracy of noise there is about us, noise that denies us the silence and solitude we need for the cultivation of the inner garden. It would not be hard to believe that the archenemy of God has conspired to surround us at every conceivable point in our lives with the interfering noises of civilization that, when left unmuffled, usually drown out the voice of God. He who walks with God will tell you plainly, God does not ordinarily shout to make Himself heard. As Elijah discovered, God tends to whisper in the garden.

Recently I read a missionary center in Latin America where workmen were constructing a sound studio for a radio station. They were taking careful measures to soundproof the rooms so that no noise from the city streets could mar the broadcasts and recordings that would emanate from that place. We must learn to soundproof the heart against the intruding noises of the public world in order to hear what God has to say. I love the words of Mother Teresa of Calcutta: “We need to find God and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how natures – trees, flowers, grass – grow in silence; see how the stars; the moon and sun, how they move in silence…


1.       Gordon MacDonald, Ordering Your Private World (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1985), Pg. 126
2.       Robert J. Morgan, Preacher’s Sourcebook of Creative Sermon Illustrations (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2007) Pg. 708-709
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