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Lombardi: Silence important for listening to God

2012-03-03 CTV - Octava Dies. Editorial by Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J. Faithful to a years long tradition, the Pope dedicated the first week of Lent to a spiritual retreat, which was also attended by many of his collaborators. No meetings and speeches, but silence and prayer. Naturally, a believer tries to find time or moments for silence and prayer every day, but this long Lenten period demonstrates a more intense need for this, and also becomes a stronger sign and example for us.

In his recent message for the World Communications Day– “Silence and Word” – the Pope underlined that silence opens up room to listen, to listen to others and to God, which is the basis for communication worthy of this name, with others and with God. And then: “When messages and information are plentiful, silence becomes essential if we are to distinguish what is important from what is insignificant or secondary.”

The risk that the accumulation of messages is such as to dominate us and imprison us is looming. As it continues to grow, it will be difficult for us to control by running frantically after their endless variety. It’s more useful to find time for true silence, when one can also hear the more profound messages, or identify their presence amid others, and from here to begin to “put order into one’s life”, amid the stream of words which today is a fascinating but tragic dimension of the world in which we live. Otherwise, how would we remember - for example - that Jesus Christ died and rose for us, lighting our way?