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The miracle of the silence

In a post at NLM on the Papal Mass at the Washington Nationals Stadium, Jeffrey Tucker reminds us of something very important:

Of the half dozen or so people I’ve spoken with, the number one thing that people mostly mentioned about this Mass had nothing to do with the music. They speak of the miracle of the silence. They talk about the spiritual comportment of the tens of thousands of people, that you could have all those people gathered in a space and that there were moments that were so still and so silent that you could hear a pin drop. This was what moved people. This was the unforgettable thing that happened.

One priest noted that this silence could not have happened were it not for good formation that is taking place in the parishes. People knew why they were there, and it wasn’t to impress the Pope with their singing. It was to be in the presence of the successor of Peter and to experience the real presence of Christ. When you think of that, awe-struck silence seems like an excellent response.

As I once read somewhere, “silence is its own song”. In the age of the iPod where people seemingly can’t go five minutes without some sort of noise vibrating their ear drums the only chance many people have to experience any silence at all is in church; we do a disservice to them by forcing a constant cacophony of noise to pervade every split second of the time they’re there.

If you’re still not agreeing with me on the subject of silence, let me ask you this: if Jesus were suddenly to appear to you face to face in all His Glory, would your first response be to belt out On Eagle’s Wings? When we keep in mind that a face-to-face encounter with Jesus is the whole point of the Mass, it changes what we’re willing and wanting to surround it with. Silence is its own song.

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