After many recommendations I finally decided to read the book by Cardinal Robert Sarah entitled: “The Power
of Silence”. I’m only about 100 pages into it, and I have to say that the theme of silence which is at the core of this work is one that I believe our world needs to rediscover. We are living in a world filled with noise: so much movement, busyness, and tension. How does one rediscover the beauty of silence in such a world? I remember first being exposed to the beauty of silence during my seminary years of studying to be a priest. Silence was so important for proper encounters with God, with myself, and with the world around me. I must admit that silence was not easy to get used to at first, as the business and noise of the world to which I have grown so accustomed remained in my mind and my heart even during these first moments of silence. It takes a while for the human mind and heart to let go of these worldly things. Silence was easy to find at the seminary, it was waiting for me like a good friend everywhere I went: in the chapel where I prayed, in my room where I studied, in the classroom where I listened to lectures. It was the sacredness of silence that led me to experience the beauty that can be so easily lost. As I’m reading Cardinal Sarah’s book I’m rediscovering the gift of silence, being reminded of the Biblical truth that “God speaks in silence”. Perhaps the world’s difficulty with silence is that we see it as a “nothing”, as an “absence”. Instead, we are reminded that silence is something beautiful, a vessel that permits us to experience life in a humble and open way. Let’s try to find more silence in our lives, in our homes, in our churches. This can only be achieved by our willingness to make some choices to bring this about. Here are some possible ways:
1. Limiting our use of the “noise makers” (TV, radio, constant news feeds)
2. Listening more and speaking less (we have two ears and one mouth for a reason)
3. Spending significant time in prayer each day
4. Cultivating more calm and quiet in our churches before
Mass. Conversations could be done just as well after
We may be surprised how much we will discover in the midst of silence!