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John Paul II on the Noisiness of Modern Life

By Brother Randall J. Meissen, LC
April 19th, 2011
JohnPaulMoments.com (johnpaulmoments.com)

John Paul II looked on the noisiness of our era as an invitation to carve out moments of quiet. He set aside a chunk of his schedule dedicated to spending quality time with Jesus, in the stillness of silence.

ROME, Italy (John Paul Moments) - Modern life is noisy. All too easily, gizmos and gadgets make themselves the masters of our daily routine; iPhones, iPods, iPads, and I-don't-know-what-else are multiplying like rabbits.

The consequences are strikingly visible among young people. During my time working in youth ministry, I have seen a generation of kids who are allergic to silence. They pop ear buds into their heads and zone out into their own world of customized ruckus. Others are addicted to different types of psychological noise, and like a nervous tick, show withdrawal symptoms when forbidden to send text messages on school property.

John Paul II looked on the noisiness of our era as an invitation to carve out moments of quiet. He summed up his view in this way:

"The frenetic activity of modern life with all its pressures makes it indispensable that Christians seek prayerful silence and contemplation as both conditions for and expressions of a vibrant faith. When God is no longer at the center of human life, then life itself becomes empty and meaningless.Jesus himself often "went off to a lonely place and prayed there." Jesus' prayer is our example, especially when we are caught up in the tensions and responsibilities of daily life." (John Paul II, Ecclesia in Oceania, no. 37.)

John Paul II spoke from experience. With hundreds of appointments and endless work, he could easily have let activity consume his every waking moment. But he didn't. He knew that without the Lord's grace, all the hustle and bustle would yield little lasting fruit. During each day he consciously set aside a chunk of his schedule dedicated to spending quality time alone with Jesus, in the stillness of silence. Perhaps I could do the same.

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About the Author: Brother Randall Meissen, LC, is author of the book Living Miracles: The Spiritual Sons of John Paul the Great. He can be contacted at rmeissen(at)johnpaulmoments.com.

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