Advance Praise for "Befriending Silence"

Befriending Silence
Befriending Silence

What do Brian McLaren, Fr. Daniel Horan OFM, Fr. Michael Casey OCSO, Br. Patrick Hart OCSO, and Phyllis Tickle have in common? They’ve all endorsed Befriending Silence.

  • Brian McLaren praises Befriending Silence as “a great gift to all who hunger for meaning, mystery, peace, hope, and God.”
  • Fr. Daniel Horan calls the book “an accessible and enlightening introduction to the beauty of Cistercian spirituality.”
  • Fr. Michael Casey notes that “it will be found useful and stimulating by anyone who wishes to profit from the substantial wisdom of the Cistercian tradition.”
  • Br. Patrick Hart says Befriending Silence “manifests in a wonderful way the Cistercian charism.”
  • And Phyllis Tickle says it is “one of the gentlest, most conversational, and also humbly persuasive presentations of the joys and spiritual benefits for Christian lay folk of personal, vowed, and disciplined association and/or affiliation with monastic life and practice.” (whew, that’s a mouthful!)

You might be wondering “what is this book about?” It’s an introduction to the spirituality of Cistercian monks and nuns, famous for their lives of silence and simplicity.

The Cistercians may not be as famous as the Franciscans or the Jesuits, but they have given us some of the richest spirituality of the western tradition. St. Bernard of Clairvaux, St. Aelred of Rievaulx, Thomas Merton, and Thomas Keating are among the great mystics and contemplatives of the Cistercian tradition. Trappist monks are all Cistercians. The centering prayer movement, one of the leading contemplative prayer movements in Christianity today, has its roots in Cistercian spirituality.

So Befriending Silence offers a  friendly introduction to this under-appreciated stream of contemplative Christianity, with an emphasis on how everyone — not just monks or nuns — can be blessed and transformed by this lovely and serene tradition.

  • Discover why monasteries are places of peace and serenity — and how to cultivate that same gentle spirit in your own life.
  • Learn why monks and nuns value silence, humility, and stability — and how these “old fashioned” values can enrich your life today.
  • Explore the many ways that monks and nuns pray — and learn how their spiritual disciplines can become part of your daily walk with God.

If you would like to see the book’s table of contents and/or see the complete endorsements, just click here. Or, if you want to pre-order the book, it’s already listed at (click here). B&N,, and other retailers will have it soon. The publication date is November 2015.

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2 thoughts on “Advance Praise for "Befriending Silence"”

  1. Dear Carl,
    I greatly thank our Lord to have touched you to write a book about the Cistercian Spirituality.
    I am very much interested to know about the Cistercian Spirituality because St. Bernard of
    Clairvaux is one of my favorite saints. Everyday, I read his writings which gave me a deep
    understanding and knowledge of God, of His love and who I really am and my relationship with our Lord.

    It was the Holy Spirit which directed me to St. Bernard. It happened few years ago, when
    the priest of the Most Precious Blood came to Toronto, Canada and brought the relics
    of saints (about 100 relics) One of the relics is the relic of St. Bernard.
    The priest told us that after praying and touching the relics of each one of the saints,
    one of these saints would like to be your friend. When we left the church, the name of
    St. Bernard of Clairvaux kept coming to my mind. I asked my friend, who is very spiritual
    if she knows St. Bernard . She told me that St. Bernard is a Cistercian Monk. She bought
    a book on the writings of St. Bernard so that I will come to know more about him.
    Since then, St. Bernard has been drawing me closer to our Lord… to love the Lord
    and be loved by Him.

    God’s blessings,

    1. Carl McColman

      Thanks for sharing your story, Rose. St. Bernard is indeed an amazing figure and his writing is so rich and deep with devotion for God. I hope your journey into deeper intimacy with God will flow with many blessings, and I’m sure that Bernard will be with you every step of the way!

      Do remember, that Dante Alighieri saw St. Bernard as the ultimate guide to contemplation. Perhaps you are being called to a deeper prayer life, and that’s why St. Bernard spoke to you. Just a thought!

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