Thursday, July 24, 2008

Blessed silence...

I am reading Seek That Which Is Above, by Pope Benedict XVI. It is so very good. The chapters are short and with such depth and clarity. I love our Papa! The sentence I read which has caused me to ponder, is this one. He quotes St Ignatius of Antioch, and of course, it's wonderful, but what Pope B says after is the one that I thought most profound. It got me to thinking how grateful I am to be back in the Catholic Church, where true appreciation for silence does exist. Silence is golden...and I cherish it. I've never had trouble being alone and still, enjoying just the sounds of nature without an ipod or music in my ears. Sometimes I even drive in silence, although there are days when Tom Petty or John Hiatt or the Beatles are great road trip companions!

When I go into the Sanctuary at our parish, I am impressed at the silence. We go to early Mass on Sundays, so it is more silent and I do wish there was more silence in the sanctuary at other masses. But that's not really what I"m talking about here. What I find so beautiful is the adoration chapel where TRUE silence is. In the sanctuary between Mass, is also still and quiet. To sit with God, with Jesus in that stillness is soothing and calms me. In our former "mega church" fellowship there was hardly ever silence, unless you went in to the 'sanctuary' during the day but the during a service there was rarely any silence. Yes, at Mass babies cry and little tots make some noise, but that's life, and it's not that distracting to me. (cell phones are another story...don't get me started!)

At the interdenom fellowship, you didn't have those sounds because they "split the family" even more, and all the different ages of children are sent off to their Sunday school classes to learn, and once again, even Sunday, a "family day" was divided up and rarely if ever "quiet." Then the band would begin and the service was loud, and boisterous, the sermon good, but non stop talk for 45 minutes. Then the last songs and *poof* after an hour and a half it was done and then you went out to the day and stayed "busy" and either shopped or just did normal stuff without a thought to "be still." How I now LOVE the Catholic Church. She KNOWS we need to be still, to sit in silence, to contemplate, to ponder as Mary can teach us to do. The Saints can teach us the wonder of the moment in silence with our God, our Daddy. To sit in Adoration, and just "be."

So back to St Ignatius and then our Papa: St Ignatius: "Anyone who truly possesses the words of Jesus will also be able to hear his silence. . . that he may act through his word and be known through his silence." Pope BXVI - page 143: "When theology no longer hears the silence of Jesus, it can even less discern the depth of his words."

Yes. How true. How we need to 'be still and know' God is God and we are not.

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