Discovering the Twelve Degrees of Silence

twelve-degreesNovalis author Lucinda Vardey recently shared on her website how she discovered Sister Marie-Aimée De Jésus’ spiritual treasure The Twelve Degrees of Silence, recently published by Novalis.

A long winter of illness had curtailed any strength to speak. Devoid of distractions, silence had become a steady companion. Living with silence introduced me first to simply noticing, then to an awareness of its more noble quality revealed as an inviting presence into relationship. Silence, I was to discover, was not only foundational for self encounter but, without a doubt, fundamental for listening to God.

I remember the day when my eye fell on a line in Edith Stein’s A Hidden Life. The essay was about a l9th-century French Carmelite nun, called Sr. Marie Aimée de Jésus who wrote down her experiences of “listening to silence” for a fellow sister in a monastery in Paris. The book of these degrees of silence had been published in the l920s in Germany, which is probably how Edith Stein (also a Carmelite and now a canonized saint) knew about them. But where was I to find these precious degrees nearly 90 years later?

Read more at her website.

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