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Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Evangelizing in Silence
This past year I experienced Silence and the Word, the theme of this year's World Day of Communication. I lived without social media and cell phones for over a year. The question I asked myself was "How can I be silent and evangelize the Word?" St. Francis of Assisi answered: "Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words." In my experience my words can eclipse the Word or I can become a channel of the Word so that it flows through me. In this age of technological change we are surrounded by words, words, words. These are in the form of voices on the radio, television, phone, movies (unless you watch Into Great Silence, an exception). Words come to us on ads, on the Internet, on billboards. Advent reminds us to wait in silence. Or at least the Liturgical season does. Advent in our society is filled with more words and days counting down the celebration of the Word made flesh (Commentary Gospel of John). The Scriptures are filled with images of light and darkness, cacophony and silence, waiting and fulfillment. Without waiting and silence we are not able to experience fulfillment. In silence the Word speaks. Then our words, filled with meaning and light, may follow. We become channels of God's grace through prayer and trust. Pause before the Word in reverence today. Keep an open Bible in your home to remind you that in silence "God's all powerful Word leapt from heaven" (Wisdom 18:14) and still leaps into your heart. Listen: "Be still and know that I am God" (Psalm 46). Here are some reflective poems on silence in nature, morality, scripture, science, and spirituality to help lead you into a moment of silence. OK, enough words.