Monk in the World guest post: Trent Tanaro

Sharing a post from one who shares my deep appreciation for
the gift of silence and all of its benefits.
Thank you to Trent Tanaro and Abbey of the Arts:

Monk in the World guest post: Trent Tanaro

Processed with VSCOcam with p5 preset

This week in our Monk in the World guest post series we have a reflection from fellow monk Trent Tanaro. Read on for his wisdom about the movements of his monastic journey:

It is an honor to share the journey with you in this guest post. We are all on a journey of some sort.  Our paths are very diverse in nature; no path is identical to the other, yet we share experiences in so many ways. The ability to share our experiences with others regardless of our ‘type’ of path is a blessing. When we learn to look at the paths of others with love and appreciation, we grow closer as a society. Sharing the journey is essential to life and its many seasons.

The expression of my particular journey is one of many movements. These movements have occurred over the expanse of many years. They are made up of many twists and turns, ups and downs, which have shaped me into who I am today.  I have learned how to process these many movements over the years. There are some various practices that have been tools for me in the midst of the journey.  Some of them I have weeded out and some I have tended to and watched them flourish into my daily life.

I would like to share a few of them with you in this moment of sharing the journey. These have taken years to develop and have been tried through failure, beginning again, success, joy, sadness, grief, life, death, darkness, light, and many other rhythms of life. These three have stood the test of time and fire. They have proved to be a fabric of my being on a daily basis. The strength that comes from Christ through these daily practices is what has carried me through the seasons.


“For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation.”  (Psalm 62:1, NRSV)

The thought of silence used to create great amounts of fear within me. I struggled with anxiety and depression in my early adult years. The thought of being in silence and alone was horror to me. I began to practice moments of silence in my day when I finally faced the fear and overcame it.  It took facing the fear repeatedly at night, that seemed to be when I had no choice but to face it, that I began to see its value.  God began to show up or is it that I began to actually listen instead of begging God to take it away? Silence became the very thing that I needed in order to move forward from the inner struggles. The very thing that I begged for peace from became one of the life sources for my walk with God.

Silence is now a part of my life and my daily routine. Silence is nothing to be afraid of, walk into it and you will see.  It is still difficult to explain, it is almost as if my fear of silence was triggering my inner problems. The inner struggles want a way out; they often find their way out by other means. Sometimes they are expressed in negative ways toward ourselves and those we care about. Silence is a healthy path for our personal struggles to travel through. God comes in when we allow him to work and fills the void with his relentless love and mercy.

Sacred Reading

As I have traveled through the rugged terrain of life here on earth, another valuable practice for my journey has been sacred reading. The reading of scripture is at the top of this one. The value and nutrition that comes from my daily readings of Psalms and the Gospels is unexplainable. I read continuously through much of the Jewish Bible and the Christian Bible (Old and New Testaments). The strength that comes from my times in silence will often flow over into my sacred reading time.  The texts that I read will take me into silent reflection and meditation from time to time. It varies from day to day; sometimes it is dry, empty, frustrating, or meaningless to me. The periods of desolation are often self inflicted or portrayed from the way I have allowed myself to be impacted by the actions of others. That is why the re-centering time in silence is so important. We all need to be re-centered; life just throws us off track once in a while.

I will also spend great amounts of time reading various other sacred texts from the patristic era of Christian history. The Monastics and the Saints tend to be my frequently visited authors. I find peace and connection to many of them, I know, it is hard to describe, but the connection is there. They expressively describe their lives as they lived through the fires of history. They also have spent much time in the scriptures and you can see that clearly in many of their writings. I find my self in their writings versus many of the modern evangelical texts of today. While I read a broad genre in today’s world of literature, I retreat to scripture and patristic writings often.


“In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed.”  (Mark 1:35, NRSV)

The practice of solitude is often confused with silence. While both have similarities, they are different in nature. Most places of solitude are indeed silent places. Silence often happens in solitude moments. Solitude is time spent alone with you and God.  God is there, whether we know it or not, he is there. It mostly involves the absence of others. Silence can be a state of mind in the midst of chaos. Solitude is a more secluded practice in nature. While my life consists of many people through most of the day, solitude is a practice that I try to participate in often. Life is people; life is made up of our journeys with others. People are a part of the meaning of our lives. A healthy balance in life involves the practice of breaking away for time with yourself and God. When it is time to return to the social scene, you will be better prepared for the circumstances ahead. Solitude is not for everyone, but it is a healthy practice for daily life.

My prayer today is that my journey with these three practices has encouraged you in some way. We are all on diverse paths in our lives and we need one another. Sharing the journey is vital to the good and growth of any society of people. When people come together in the purpose of sharing, the negatives and differences are often set aside. May God bless all of you as you travel your paths with passion and expression in the day ahead.  I am very thankful and it has been an honor to share a part of my journey with you.

Trent TanaroTrent Tanaro is from Spearman, TX where he is a Pastor. Trent and his wife Marlana have been married for 15 years. They have two boys; Timothy (11) and Tyler (7).  He have been in rural church ministry for 12 + years. They love God and their community.


Listen ~ Look ~ Breathe

Listen for the sounds unleashed in the silence.
Listen for the voices of stone that cry out to the glory of God.
Look for the sights unveiled by the rising sun.

Look for the blossoms shimmering in morning light,
singing God’s praise.
Breathe in the gift of faithful promises.
Breathe in the hope of a future world, now but not yet,
where freedom triumphs, peace and abundance reign.

(Christine Sine –

Photos on Pinterest





m pr 50d506869d7c19fb2af6875d04a18343

I sit now in the silence as the darkness turns to light,
aware that this new day shall now begin.
Into the quiet stillness your Spirit calls to me: “Arise!
For you are meant for greatness on this day.”

I humbly bow in reverence to accept the tasks you’ve given,
in honor I shall serve you to the end.
Through your power and your glory
we shall live in one accord;
with mercy freely given, graciously.

May your will be done – – –
Your kingdom come to all throughout the world,
that love and peace shall reign upon the earth.

~ Morning prayers of Anna Lin

Photo on Pinterest

Where Silence Reigns

Dove 52518f21e45f8f1acebf20287638d0e7

“Holy Spirit, You brood over all the space
where silence reigns.”
~ Donna Schaper, in Stir Up Your Power

Let me fall into this space where silence reigns
to feel the breath of the Spirit resting upon me.
In this circle of silence there is safety . . .
There is peace.

In this circle of silence, how shall I prepare the
way of the Lord?
What shall be my spiritual practice today?
What ritual shall I use to focus on the
coming of Christ . . . to understand Your grace?
Shall I sing one song – as a mantra, repeating
the message over and over until the words overcome
the distractions of the world and sing through me?
Shall I gaze upon the beauty of the new fallen snow
on yonder mountain and rejoice in the purity of grace?
One thing I know . . . in the silence there is the
necessity of emptying . . . of cleansing the beggar’s bowl
so that something new can come to me.
Empty out the rubbish . . . the negativity . . . the abuse. . .
that God’s love may fill my soul. . .
and in the silent stillness all is peace.

~ Prayers of Anna Lin, Advent Journal 2002

Photo on Pinterest

In The Mists Of Silent Wonder

nt pry 0a69a8553629aa5084d2d30c2d4c27e6

Shadows dancing
in the mists of silent wonder,
enticing me to hear their silent prayer;
Speaking words of wisdom for the hour,
to mend my brokeness and deep despair.

I shall stop a moment to reflect
on all the mysteries our lives must bear,
to fully know God’s ever tender mercy,
and Christ’s great love and constant presence here.

~ Night Prayers of Anna Lin

Photo at:

Silent The Leaves

s of s f0885eef1d2f09ba5b34a90bf100b225

Silent the leaves often are and secretive,
but just as often they converse as if the secret
were too good to be kept to themselves.
Whispering in a breeze, rustling, even singing
and always in harmony with the wind that plays to them,
they give their message.

~ Elizabeth Yates in A Book of Hours
Photo at:

In Silent Mists

s of s 15437fdb7b902bbea5dcb7902d695ae3s of s 82b6e1893572ff5e606dfbee2cceae39

~ ~ ~ slowly ~ ~ ~ and in silence the mist absorbs
the lakes and the hills . . . trees become indistinct
and distance vanishes . . . . . .

only the flowers and grasses nearby seem to be
on this earth ~ ~ ~ ~ birds fly out of nowhere and
back into nowhere again . . . . . . . .

There is intimacy in the soft air ~ ~ reverence ~
and peace . . . . . . . . the great peace of
a soul that knows that the sun still shines ~ ~ ~
~ ~ that the hills and lakes are just beyond ~
~ ~ ~ where they have always been ~ ~ ~ ~

and ~ knowing these things ~ ~ ~
finds loveliness in the mystic mist . . . . . . . .

~ Gwen Frostic


Photos at:

Listen ~ ~ Listen

s of s  0a69a8553629aa5084d2d30c2d4c27e6

Listen. Listen to the quiet word walking your way on the evening air,
slipping in around the edges of your reason, speaking in whispers like the wind
lifting the curtains to come into your room. Listen carefully, listen intentionally,
be still and listen, for the voice of the Spirit speaks in stillness not in shouts,
calls to you in soft sounds not the clamor of the crowd. God knows your name.
God seeks you out, answering your prayers, offering you wisdom,
showing you where to turn. Listen to learn, to understand, for the holy is most eloquent
in silence. Someone is speaking to you, speaking in the quiet hours of your soul. Listen

~ Bishop Charleston
Photo at: