World Communications Day 2012: Rediscover Silence in the Cacophony of the Contemporary Age
God is the friend of silence, in that silence he will listen to us; there he will speak to our soul, and there we will hear his voice.
In our prayers, we often find ourselves facing the silence of God. We almost experience a sense of abandonment; it seems that God does not listen and does not respond. But this silence, as happened to Jesus, does not signify absence. Christians know that the Lord is present and listens, even in moments of darkness and pain, of rejection and solitude. Jesus assures His disciples and each one of us that God is well aware of our needs at every moment of our lives.
Benedict the man of silence and prayer
WASHINGTON,DC (Catholic online) - On Sunday, May 20, 2012, some Catholics celebrated the Feast of the Ascension because the Feast was transferred from Thursday in their particular Diocese. Others celebrated the seventh Sunday of Easter. Either way, the Lord's day called us to focus on the Source of Peace in an age of continued conflict, the Risen Lord Jesus Christ who continues to live His life among us.
However, the cacophony of disturbing news stories continued unabated. The good news of the release of Chinese Human Rights activist Chen Guangcheng and his arrival in the U.S. was sadly counterbalanced by the news that the NAACP leadership had lost its moral compass. The leadership of this once great organizational protector of true Civil Rights issued a statement rejecting marriage as a union between one man and one woman and endorsing the profane notion that there is a civil right to engage in homosexual acts.
In the midst of all the clamor, confusion and noise, World Communications Day fell on May 20, 2012. We must not allow its important theme - and its direction - to pass unnoticed and go unheeded.
On Thursday, September 29, 2011 the Pontifical Council for Social Communications announced the theme for 2012: Silence and Word: Path of Evangelization. In announcing the theme they explained, "In the thought of Pope Benedict XVI, silence is not presented simply as an antidote to the constant and unstoppable flow of information that characterizes society today but rather as a factor that is necessary for its integration. Silence, precisely because it favors habits of discernment and reflection, can in fact be seen primarily as a means of welcoming the word."
Pope Benedict XVI is a man of deep prayer. Because of that, he possesses the kind of wisdom we all so desperately need in this urgent hour. On Wednesday, March 6, 2012, he concluded a teaching series in which he instructed the faithful to learn how to pray.Ten thousand eager pilgrims heard this man of deep prayer illuminate the beauty of the silence in the life of Jesus Christ as an example for all of us in pursuing our own call to intimacy with God.
He explained that silence is necessary to hear the Word of God, noting that "our age does not, in fact, favor reflection and contemplation; quite the contrary it seems that people are afraid to detach themselves, even for an instant, from the spate of words and images which mark and fill our days".
He continued, "the Gospels often show us ... Jesus withdrawing alone to a place far from the crowds, even from His own disciples, where He can pray in silence". Moreover, "the great patristic tradition teaches us that the mysteries of Christ are linked to silence, and only in silence can the Word find a place to dwell within us".
"This principle", the Holy Father reminded us, "holds true for individual prayer, but also for our liturgies which, to facilitate authentic listening, must also be rich in moments of silence and of non verbal acceptance. ... Silence has the capacity to open a space in our inner being, a space in which God can dwell, which can ensure that His Word remains within us, and that love for Him is rooted in our minds and hearts, and animates our lives".
He emphasized the connection between silence and prayer, "In our prayers, we often find ourselves facing the silence of God. We almost experience a sense of abandonment; it seems that God does not listen and does not respond. But this silence, as happened to Jesus, does not signify absence. Christians know that the Lord is present and listens, even in moments of darkness and pain, of rejection and solitude. Jesus assures His disciples and each one of us that God is well aware of our needs at every moment of our lives".
"For us, who are so frequently concerned with operational effectiveness and with the results ... we achieve, the prayer of Jesus is a reminder that we need to stop, to experience moments of intimacy with God, 'detaching ourselves' from the turmoil of daily life in order to listen, to return to the 'root' which nourishes and sustains our existence. One of the most beautiful moments of Jesus' prayer is when, faced with the sickness, discomfort and limitations of his interlocutors, He addresses His Father in prayer, thus showing those around him where they must go to seek the source of hope and salvation".
The Pope reminded us all that the most profound point of the prayer of Jesus to the Father came at the moment of His passion and death. Citing the Catechism (Par #2606) he explained that "His cry to the Father from the cross encapsulated 'all the troubles, for all time, of humanity enslaved by sin and death, all the petitions and intercessions of salvation history are summed up in this cry of the incarnate Word. Here the Father accepts them and, beyond all hope, answers them by raising His Son. ...
Rate This Article
Leave a Comment
More Europe News
- Pope Francis: Open the Door to Faith and Do Not Try to Control
- Evil Face of Jihad in London Suburb: Muslim Attackers Hack a Young Soldier to Death and Behead Him
- 'World's oldest profession' suffers downturn in U.K.; food, mortgage more important than sex
- Businesses, not employees to foot 75 percent tax increase in France
- Undeterred by terrorists, mother and daughter comfort dying British soldier in London
- Flight diverted above United Kingdom after two passengers make bomb threats
- Priest Tells of Being Whipped by the Devil in the Land of Missions
- Pope Francis Calls Italian Bishops to a Renewed Pastoral Vision
- British soldier hacked to death in brazen attack by Islamic terrorists, stopped by prayerful, courageous women
- Fr. Paul Schenck: Finding Living Faith on Catechetical Sunday
- The Movie Yellow: Incest as 'Normal' and Cassavates's Slides Into the World of Woes
- The Chicago School Teachers Strike Reveals the Need For School Choice
- The Sexual Barbarians and the Dissolution of Culture
- The Happy Priest Challenges Us to Ask: Who is Jesus to Me?
- Michael Coren on Canadian Public Schools: Teachers, leave those kids alone
- We Cannot Ignore Our Consciences: Cardinal Dolan On Religious Liberty
- In the Face of Danger, Successor of Peter Travels to Lebanon as a Messenger of Peace
- Reflections on the Dignity and Vocation of Women: Who or What?