Silence and Honey Cakes

Rowan Williams is simply incapable of writing a bad word. Someone, I forget who, introduced me to this book. I cannot tell you how thankful I am, how great a blessing it has been. I feel scoured (convicted, reproached) by the way he presents the wisdom of the desert mothers and fathers. Amazing Grace, indeed! I want to record here some quotes from the book as much to help me remember as to share.

Life, Death and Neighbours

… the facts of human life together are normally so messy, so unpromising and unedifying … spirituality — the cultivation of sensitive and rewarding relationship with eternal truth and love … simply doesn’t happen unless we mend our relations with Tom, Dick and Harriet.


‘The monk … must die to his neighbour and never judge him at all in any way whatever.’ If our life and our death are with the neighbour, this spells out something of what our ‘death’ to the neighbour might mean: it is to renounce the power of judgment over someone else — a task hard enough indeed to merit being described as death.


I must die to myself, a self understood as the solid possessor of virtues and gifts, entitled to pronounce on the neighbour’s spiritual condition. My own awareness of my failure and weakness indispensable to my communicating the gospel to my neighbour. I put the neighbour in touch with God by a particular kind of detachment from her. … this is absolutely basic for our growth in the life of grace.


To be continued …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.