- Million Minutes

If you speak my
name, I disappear
Lent: time of preparation for Easter
It lasts 40 days and 40 nights (not
including Sundays) from Ash
Wednesday until Holy Saturday (the
day before Easter Sunday)
It’s 40 days and 40 nights because
that’s how long Jesus spent in the
All Christian denominations spend
this time preparing for the high
point of the liturgical year and
Christian story, the Resurrection
To mark Lent, Christians do three
main things”
Give things up (fast)
Make a special effort to help
others (almsgiving)
Spend more time in prayer
We think Jesus spent most, if not all,
of his time in the desert in silence.
How much time do you spend in
silence each day?
How much time just contemplating?
How much is taken up on Facebook,
BBM, Candy Crush, etc.?
If my day were a musical score,
how full of notes would it be?
Link to John Cage 4’33
How much…
are you busy?
Very little
How much…
Time on social media?
Very little
How much…
using technology each day?
Very little
How much…
time in silence?
Very little
How much…
time in prayer?
Very little
World Religions
Silence appears as a significant
element in all major world
For many, it is essential for the
most important spiritual practices,
and integral as a way to meet God.
Many atheists agree that silence
and meditation are valuable
exercises for the individual.
World Religions
Group work
(not a time to practice
being silent…)
The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)
went on retreat to a cave in Mount
Contemporary Sufis have tried to
re-establish the practice of silent
meditation and ritual devotion.
Some Muslims are cautious about
meditation because they don’t
think silence should take over from
speaking the words of the Qur'an.
The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)
spoke against idle words
“It is better to speak to a
seeker of knowledge than to
remain silent, but silence is
better than idle words.”
The ideals of the Sikh faith advise
the devotee to rise early in the
morning and meditate on God.
Sikhs normally do not say prayers
while kneeling as Christians do.
They either recite the word
Waheguru or are completely
Sam Harris, one of the new atheists
like Richard Dawkins, believes that
“There are, in fact, many methods
of meditation and “spiritual” inquiry
that can greatly enhance our mental
health while offering no affront to
the intellect.”
Sam Harris wrote a book called
The End of Faith: Religion, Terror,
and the Future of Reason
The Carthusians are one of the most
silent Catholic religious orders.
They speak in the afternoon of one day
a week; when in communal prayer; and
when necessary for practical aspects of
work and spiritual guidance.
Clip from ‘Into Great Silence’
Silence and me?
Play clip from ‘The Big Silence’
“Silence is a source of Great
-Lao Tzu
“If there were a little more
silence, if we all kept
quiet...maybe we could
understand something.”
― Federico Fellini
“Quiet is peace. Tranquillity.
Quiet is turning down the
volume knob on life.
Silence is pushing the off button.
Shutting it down. All of it.”
― Hosseini, The Kite Runner
After silence, that which
comes nearest to expressing
the inexpressible is music.
-Aldous Huxley
“Silence is pure and holy. It draws people
together because only those who are comfortable
with each other can sit without speaking.”
― Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook
“Let silence take you to the core of life.”
- Rumi
In the attitude of silence the soul finds the path in
a clearer light, and what is elusive and deceptive
resolves itself into crystal clearness. Our life is a
long and arduous quest after Truth.
- Gandhi
"I make monastic silence a protest against the
lies of politicians, propagandists and agitators..."
—Thomas Merton, In My Own Words
“I have always loved the desert. One sits down
on a desert sand dune, sees nothing, hears
nothing. Yet through the silence something
throbs, and gleams”
- Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince
“What we cannot speak about we must pass
over in silence.”
- Ludwig Wittgenstein
“In the silence of
the heart God
speaks. If you face
God in prayer and
silence, God will
speak to you...Souls
of prayer are souls
of great silence.”
― Mother Teresa
“Silence is the mother
of truth.”
― Benjamin Disraeli
Give up facebook, twitter or something
else and raise money for Charity?
What might you do this Lent?
Give things up (fast)
Make a special effort to help others
Spend more time in prayer
Back to
rest of PP
With thanks to Loreto College, Manchester,
for the main content of this lesson.

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