Contemplative Christianity is all about absence and abundance; emptying so that we may be filled. The emptying without the infilling is dangerous and frustrating.
When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, it passes through dry places seeking rest, but finds none. Then it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when it comes, it finds it empty, swept, and put in order. Then it goes and brings with itself seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there. And the last state of that man is worse than the first. So shall it be also with this evil generation.” Matthew 12:43-45 MEV
Infilling without the emptying is impossible.
Silence is an absence of noise in which, when He chooses to speak, we can hear the quiet voice of God. Both external and internal silence is necessary, although becoming internally quiet is the hardest.
Solitude is the absence of people during which God can become most real and personal to us, when He chooses to make His presence felt.
Stillness is an absence of activity during which we can experience the gentle move of God, when He chooses to make his action known.
Simplicity is the absence of things, and clutter. Externally it means we have few possessions and are not possessed by the few that we have. Internally it means we do not have a spirit of covetousness. In simplicity He can become our greatest treasure.
These are the emptying. And as important as external silence, solitude, stillness and simplicity are, the real challenge is to enter internal silence, solitude of the heart, stillness of mind and spirit, and simplicity of desire.
Once empty the Scriptures and the Sacraments are the means of infilling. We fill our mind and spirit with the pure Word of God and through the Scriptures we hear His most clear voice. We receive His Sacraments and He becomes physically present. And by His grace we receive a fresh infilling of His Holy Spirit. This is life, and that more abundant.
When empty of self and filled with His Spirit, Servanthood compels us to do only what we see Him do and say only what we hear Him say. We live in no opinions of our own.
This is the true Kingdom of God, where He and He alone will sit on the throne of our heart having vanquished every foe, both external and internal. Jesus Christ is Lord!