Our Silence Heroes (Episode 6)

Who are your “silence heroes” — persons, living or dead, famous or obscure, who inspired or mentored or otherwise encouraged your encounter, and/or ongoing relationship, with silence? This is the question that the three co-hosts of this podcast explore in this episode. Cassidy, Carl and Kevin talk about the spiritual leaders, mystics, poets, writers, and other key figures who have helped us to “meet” silence more fully in our lives.

When you really meet silence, when you really encounter silence, it reminds you that you’re good enough, as is — whatever you’re doing, whoever you are, it reminds you that you’re good enough, because it is a place of love, it is a place of self-encounter, it is a place of the encounter of the Divine, of God. — Cassidy Hall

We talk about how our silence heroes inspire us — how they encourage us to love, to embrace nature, to write and enjoy poetry, to be sacred nonconformists, to preserve stillness,  teach us how to talk about silence (or how to be silent with silence!), give us both theoretical and practical approaches to silence — all the while using their lyrical and poetic voices to encourage us to be, likewise, the “poets of our own lives” — lives in which silence “allows our own selves to actually come forward and speak.”

We are all poets of our own lives and silence allows our own selves to actually come forward and speak. — Kevin Johnson

Some of the resources and authors we mention in this episode:

At one point Carl mentions Martin Thornton when he’s actually talking about Martin Laird, so in all fairness to his Freudian slip, here’s a book worth reading from that author:

Silence is the tomb of Christ —  a place of infinite possibility.
— A Monk of New Melleray Abbey

Kevin Johnson is a university professor, writer, speaker, and retreat leader based in Connecticut.

Cassidy Hall is a writer, photographer, and filmmaker based in Los Angeles.

Carl McColman is an author, catechist, and retreat leader based in Atlanta.

For language to be sane, it needs to be suffused with silence; and for silence to be accessible, it needs to be held in language… to be a human being who wishes to enter deeply into the cave of silence, our sherpa will be language. — Carl McColman

Episode 6: Our Silence Heroes
Hosted by:
Kevin Johnson
Cassidy Hall and Carl McColman
Date Recorded:
November 13, 2017

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Carl McColman
Author of Befriending Silence, The Big Book of Christian Mysticism, Answering the Contemplative Call, and other books. Retreat leader. Speaker. Professed Lay Cistercian.


  1. I enjoyed this very much. So many of my heroes mentioned and so beloved by you and me. Need your technical help. I was introduced to Maggie Ross (thank you), and went to her blog site, Voice in the Wilderness, but cannot see how to subscribe. Can you help?

    1. Mary:

      Thank you so much for listening to the podcast. So glad you enjoyed the podcast on our heroes and that you were introduced to my friend and mentor Maggie Ross. Sadly, Maggie has not activated the subscription button on blogger to allow you to subscribe and receive emails when she updates her page. I am not sure why nor has it ever really come up in conversation.

      Up to this point I just visit her site once a week and see if she has posted anything new. She may go weeks and weeks before she writes. Or she may post everyday for almost a month. When I first found her blog, I went back into the archives and scrolled all the way down the page until I found her first entry. I then read in chronological order until I had read every post. I discovered that she often took portions of her books or articles and broke them up into different blog posts that sometimes had 5, 10 or even 15 parts and she kept them together by the title and numbering of the blog post.

      In any event, you could always write a comment on her blog and ask her why she doesn’t allow for subscriptions. But I encourage you to write to her. She engages with her audience and answers questions.

      All the best.

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