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Formation - Silence and Solitude

Two of the most significant and powerful of the spiritual disciplines are solitude and silence. Although they can be practiced separately the magnitude of their power is only fully experienced as they are fused together as a unit. We examine the biblical mandate regarding these twin spiritual disciplines, provide opportunity to enter into them and discover creative ways to make them a regular part of your life.

Silence goes beyond solitude, and without it solitude has little effect. Henri Nouwen observes that “silence is the way to make solitude a reality.”

Silence and solitude do go hand in hand, usually. Just as silence is vital to make solitude real, so is solitude needed to make the discipline of silence complete. Very few of us can be silent in the presence of others. Dallas Willard

Silence and solitude together form a single path of quiet aloneness before God. They provide the two sides of the coin of undistracted devotion. Though we can practice them separately, when we employ them together, they place us before God in a special way. We are open, receptive and vulnerable to the Lord. All the outer props are removed. In the quiet of retreat, with all the competing voices stilled, we learn to hear the gentle whisper of God’s Spirit.” Howard Baker

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