Tag Archives: Apostle’s Creed

Finding Silence


Soon silence will have passed into legend. Man has turned his back on silence. Day after day he invents machines and devices that increase noise and distract humanity from the essence of life, contemplation, meditation.

—-Jean Arp

Silence has many dimensions. It can be a regression and an escape, a loss of self, or it can be presence, awareness, unification, self-discovery. Negative silence blurs and confuses our identity, and we lapse into daydreams or diffuse anxieties. Positive silence pulls us together and makes us realize who we are, who we might be, and the distance between the two. Hence, positive silence implies a choice, and what Paul Tillich called the “courage to be.”

—–Thomas Merton

For over seven years we lived on a very busy city street. During that time I began to believe that silence was just a myth that is found in some far off place. I, like the German sculptor Jean Arp, began to believe that silence was passing into legend. Two and a half years ago I moved into a much quieter, though not silent, neighborhood. Once again, I enjoyed birdsong and could hear the sound of the wind flowing through the trees. It was as though I was rediscovering creation. Soon I realized that my new home has noise as well. Determined not to let my silence be taken away from me, I began to embrace the noise as a pathway to inner silence. That sense of silence acted as a catalyst for a new and stronger spirituality.

Merton refers to the damage caused by negative silence in “Love and Living.” My observation is the more we are surrounded by noise the more likely we are to fall into negative silence. I believe that it is caused by the constant awareness of that background noise that is always present. We become so frustrated by our inability to escape the uproar of humanity and position ourselves at the feet of the creator. We fight so hard to escape the uproar, we never find peace. The path remains elusive to us because we are concentrated on the negative. True silence is out there waiting for us to discover it.

True silence is positive silence, which is August-23-Personal-quotea time and a place of self-discovery. From that place we can be in the presence of God. The prophet Zephaniah says, “Be silent before the Lord God! For the day of the Lord is at hand; the Lord has prepared a sacrifice, he has consecrated his guests. “I believe that only way to truly be before the Lord is in silence. How can we really hear God above the din of the world unless we clear our minds and focus on Him? The Bible, early Christians, medieval mystics, modern monastics and all other sorts of people in sincere search of God have a common cry -SILENCE!! This cry instructs us to find a quiet place and present ourselves to God. The quietness allows God to calm us, settle us and speak to us, and more importantly, for us to hear God.

No matter what your circumstance, try not to believe that the quiet place is a thing of the past. Take the time to hear your surroundings and listen to God wherever you may be. The throng of urban life doesn’t have to drive us into the negative silence of brooding and moping. Discover the glimpses of silence that God allows you. Try not to be frustrated with the sounds of His creation but to offer them up as part of your journey to your inner self.



MY LORD GOD, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.



—-Thomas Merton

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Affirming Our Faith

ApostlesCreedThe way I affirm my faith is by reciting and believing the words of the Apostles’ Creed. Many times I have been questioned as to the meaning and purpose of the Apostles’ Creed in worship. The words below are my small stab at what the Creed means to me, and what I mean when I refer to myself as an Apostles’ Creed Christian.

The Apostles’ Creed

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
Maker of heaven and earth; 

This beginning of the Creed sets forth our personal profession that we believe in God as Creator. We affirm that nothing was made that did not have His stamp on it. This does not mean we reject evolutionary change, but it does mean that we believe that our God started the process.

And in Jesus Christ, his only Son our Lord;

who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,

In this section we affirm Jesus as the Son of God, and not only a Son, but a self-creation of God through His Spirit. Mary, the virgin, was the vessel by which God brought Himself into the world.

suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, dead, and buried;
the third day he rose from the dead;

In these words we affirm that Jesus really did suffer and truly died. His suffering was brought by man, namely Pontius Pilate. This death was a means of victory for Him because He rose from the dead, and by this act overcame man’s greatest enemy, death.

he ascended into heaven,
and sitteth at the right hand of the Father Almighty;
from thence he shall come again to judge the quick and the dead.

When Jesus rose from the dead He went to heaven as God sitting in the throne with equality to the Creator God. Because He is not only man but God as well and as such He will sit in judgment at the appointed time.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,

the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.

After Jesus left the earth in the ascension, He said to His disciples that He would send a Comforter so that they would not be alone. That Comforter is the Holy Spirit, who is God’s real presence on earth. The word catholic means universal, and we are affirming that we belong to the universal church no matter what label we use. By affirming our belief in the communion of saints we are further asserting our belief that all who call upon Jesus are part of the Church. In the final three lines we express our faith in the plan of God to forgive, renew and reward those who have chosen to be a people of good will.

These few words are far from an exhaustive commentary on the Apostles Creed, but I hope that they can stand as a beginning point of faith. Next time you stand and recite this creed, I hope you will think of some of these thoughts.

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