Our Speechless Hearts

Intentional silence is not a retreat into some private piety. Nor is it passive. It is a rugged and sometimes ragged discipline of turning over and over again to offer our speechless hearts.

Read the whole article here

“The Doorway to Discipleship” by Catherine Smith, Mandate Spring 2020, The United Church of Canada, pp. 24–25, Reprinted with permission.

Join me on the journey. Rest, Reflect, Replenish


  1. Kerry Howarth on August 17, 2020 at 9:55 pm

    Beauty-fully said, Catherine. Listening is such an important part of our faith and not enough emphasis is placed on it. I so appreciate the images you conjured in the telling of your experience with silence. Bright blessings and thank you!

    • Catherine Smith on August 21, 2020 at 11:08 am

      May you find rich gifts in your listening, Kerry.

  2. Marilyn Burrell on August 14, 2020 at 2:46 pm

    Truly a beautiful article Catherine! Your use of metaphor is rich and inviting, my toes could almost feel the sand shifting with the gentle lapping if the tide. Framing the practice as faithful discipleship feels very affirming to me. I especially appreciate the practical suggestions for setting our intention and beginning…which it seems I do again and again. Thank you!

    • Catherine Smith on August 17, 2020 at 3:11 pm

      Thank you, Marilyn. I’m glad you can almost feel that sand. I was glad in this article to sense within me the invitation to name listening as a vital element of discipleship. Discipleship is one of those words that calls for the work of reclaiming or deepening in the tradition we share. It has sometimes taken on resonance with a narrow vision or agenda, I think. So, let’s keep listening and feeling that gentle lapping.

  3. Shirley Childs on August 14, 2020 at 1:48 pm

    Offering appreciation and thanks for this wonderful article on the gift and ongoing work of silence. I will keep this close as a reminder and invitation to continue on this journey.

  4. Shirley Childs on August 14, 2020 at 1:45 pm

    Offering gratitude for this deep and full piece on the work and gift of silence. It is one of the most helpful, inviting and, of course, challenging invitations to silence I have read or heard.

    • Catherine Smith on August 21, 2020 at 11:09 am

      Blessings, Shirley as you continue the ‘listening life’.

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