Daily Riches: The Limitations of Words (Hermann Hesse, Ernesto Cardinal & Ruth Hayley Barton)

“When a person has grown old and has done his all, it is his task peacefully to make friends with death. He does not need other people. He knows them and has seen enough of them. What he needs is peace. It is not seemly to seek out such a person, to talk to him, to torment him with your chatter. At the gateway to his home the proper thing is to pass by, as if nobody lived there.” Hermann Hesse –  the notice on the door of his house upon award of the Nobel Prize for Literature

“Whoever loves God wishes to be alone. Like newlyweds who do not want to have their intimacy interrupted by outsiders, those who have felt the love of God retire into silence and solitude.” Ernesto Cardenal

“In solitude and silence, we become quiet enough to hear a voice that is not our own.” Ruth Haley Barton

“… God cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence.” Mother Teresa

“… fools multiply words.”  Ecclesiastes. 10:14
“When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable,
But he who restrains his lips is wise.”  Proverbs 10:19
“The one who has knowledge uses words with restraint.”  Proverbs 17:27a

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Are you aware enough of the needs of others to know when to “pass by?” not to “torment them with your chatter”,  to “restrain your lips?”
  • Have you ever felt like a “newlywed” with God, wanting to “retire into silence and solitude” with him? If not, why not?
  • There is great value in silence. By silence we learn the limitations of speech. Are you able to refrain from words in order to let yourself hear “words that are not your own?”  for someone else to hear God’s words?

Abba, today I will hallow your name by leaving enough silent spaces to hear from you, waiting for my turn to speak, talking less and listening more, and speaking only out of love.


For More:  Abide in Love by Ernesto Cardenal


The “Daily Riches” from RicherByFar are for your encouragement as you seek after God, and as he seeks after you. My goal is to give you something of uncommon value each day in less than 400 words. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it with others. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s