Friday, August 16, 2019


“If music is carefully selected and beautifully offered, it can open up a space of silence which God can fill. For people who find it difficult to escape the noise both exterior and interior, your music can still the racing mind, relieve the daily stress, and invite us gently into a sacred moment where God can speak to our hearts and we can be in deeper communion with God and with one another” 
 Archbishop Eamonm Martin (Armagh, Ireland)

 The Art of Silence- Odilon Redon

In July, the Archbishop of Armagh gave a talk to musicians on the importance of good music in the liturgy. The theme was how music opens space for God to fill.  For me the most important part of this talk was on the silence that is necessary in order to hear the voice of the Lord speaking to us.
“In the quiet, we can find him whom our heart seeks.” Pope Francis puts it this way. “The Lord speaks to us in a variety of ways, at work, through others and at every moment. Yet we simply cannot do without the silence of prolonged prayer, which enables us better to perceive God’s language, to interpret the real meaning of the inspirations we believe we have received, to calm our anxieties and to see the whole of our existence afresh in his own light”. 

Amazingly enough, I recently gave a talk to teenagers on this various subject. In front the Blessed Sacrament exposed, how can there be prayer, if they drown out the sacred moment with the cacophony of inappropriate music?
The Archbishop continues: "The difficulty of course for all of us nowadays is finding any opportunity for deep silence and listening. Even when we do shut out much of the external noise and clamor that tends to fill every second of life nowadays, we often find there is an interior din – our minds and hearts and passions racing, distracted, restless. One wonders if in this “screen culture” with all social media that gate-crashes our every moment, are we are uncomfortable with silence and losing our capacity to sit still, to be at peace? We are sadly, therefore, missing out on so many opportunities to notice the “still small voice” of God, gently whispering in our hearts.  Pope Francis in his recent letter to young people  invites them to find and enter into these moments:
“Try to keep still for a moment and let yourself feel his love. Try to silence all the noise within, and rest for a second in his loving embrace”. Pope Francis realizes, of course, that Jesus himself sought those quiet moments in lonely places where he could be at peace in prayerful contact with the Father.
Rodon- Reflection
Pope Benedict XVI said that we should not be afraid to create silence both within, and outside ourselves, in order to become aware of God’s voice – and also the voice and needs of the person who sits beside us. On the Feast of Corpus Christi in 2012, he emphasized that ‘celebration’ and ‘silent adoration’ are not against each other. He said:
“To be all together in prolonged silence before the Lord present in his Sacrament is one of the most genuine experiences of our being Church, which is accompanied complementarily by the celebration of the Eucharist, by listening to the word of God, by singing and by approaching the table of the Bread of Life together. Communion and contemplation cannot be separated, they go hand in hand. If I am truly to communicate with another person I must know him, I must be able to be in silence close to him, to listen to him and look at him lovingly. True love and true friendship are always nourished by the reciprocity of looks, of intense, eloquent silences full of respect and veneration, so that the encounter may be lived profoundly and personally rather than superficially”.

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