A-8081 Heiligenkreuz a. W., Friedensplatz 1, Tel: +43 (0)3135/82625

Spiritual emphases

The House of Silence was founded in the year 1979. From the beginning our objective was that this house should become a special one in our diocese according to the needs of our time. Thus in our life we especially place emphasis on:
  • Meditation and Silence

  • The Holy Bible

  • Franciscan Spirituality

Meditation and Silence

Meditation leads to a deceleration of life. We see it as our duty to offer people here a place of silence where they can feel comfortable. Our motto is: „Go into the silence and you will find yourself; go to yourself and you will find God; go to God and you will find yourself in the middle of life“. Our daily routine is structured by three times of prayer including periods of silence in the morning, at midday, and in the afternoon. We try to avoid everything that distracts us from ourselves (for example we have no TV). The goal is reconciliation with ourselves, with our abilities, but also with our weaknesses and limits. This calls for a lot of patience with oneself. Only slowly we can release our own expectations and demands on ourselves, and the expectations and demands of others. Only those who comes to terms with themselves can live in reconciliation with others. Silence also helps us to become susceptible to encountering God, who wants us to have life - life in abundance.

The Holy Bible

The words of God are the nutrition of Christians. But many Christians are undernourished in this regard. It is painful to see how few Catholics know the Holy Bible and study it. In this respect we can learn a lot from our evangelic sisters and brothers. For us Catholics, scientific studies and intellectual work are often more important than confronting our own lives. But being a Christian always demands the entire person with both his feelings and his intellect. A religiousness based only on feelings and emotions easily leads to fanaticism, in contrast a religiousness based only on the intellect will soon become uninspiring and empty; It does not serve life. Our effort for a deeper understanding of the Holy Bible brings us inevitably to the people. A characteristic of a sane spirituality is living in a pronounced love of the world in the here and now. God always speaks to the individual. One cannot hide behind a crowd. Each person has to take on responsibility. Sure enough, we do need others who accompany us on our path, who encourage, challenge, and instruct us. Characteristic for us Christians should be in this respect our faith in God as both the source and the destination of our lives. Besides our Bible workshops and talks, our liturgy and sermons based on the Holy Bible, we periodically organize trips to the Holy Land and to the locations of St. Paul’s missionary journeys.

Franciscan Spirituality

For us, the Franciscan charisma with its wideness and openness is important, especially in a time when we see resignation escalating or when we see that old rules are reestablished in politics and church. Francis - as Jesus Christ - intentionally chosen a path “downward”. A church that is mainly pursuing a path “upward”, a path of power, which seeks to implement the Gospel with restrictive measures (exclusion from Sacraments, bans on preaching or writing in Catholic publications, etc.) is in danger of betraying the mission of Jesus. Nobody could dissuade St. Francis from his vision of a life according to the Gospel, neither his father, nor the church, nor his brothers. He teaches us to listen to our “inner voice” and to live just what we have understood from the Gospel. The Franciscan Spirituality leads us to a cosmopolitan view of the world, which doesn’t exclude anyone. Therefore encounters with other religions and cultures is an essential part in our life and of our service for humanity.