Isaac of Niniveh

Lover of silence

Life is so filled with paradox! Words so often get in the way -- yet, we go into the Silence to hear the Word. And what a blessing are the words of Scripture, the words of individuals in every age that continue to live as gift. Isaac of Niniveh, a Syrian monk, offers us reflections on silence:

"If you love truth, be a lover of silence. Silence like the sunlight will illuminate you in God and will deliver you from the phantoms of ignorance. Silence will unite you to God ... More than all things love silence: it brings you a fruit that tongue cannot describe. In the beginning we have to force ourselves to be silent. But then there is born something that draws us to silence. May God give you an experience of this "something" that is born of silence. If only you practice this, untold light will dawn on you in consequence ... After a while, a certain sweetness is born in the heart and the body is drawn almost by force to remain in silence."

~ Isaac of Niniveh
St Isaac of Nineveh on Ascetical Life (English and Syriac Edition)
By Bishop of Nineveh Isaac, Mary Hansbury, Translator
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