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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

GOD'S SILENCE: God is present even in silence, and listens.

Pope: God is present even in silence and listens in the darkness of our lives

General audience, Benedict XVI speaks of "the silence of Jesus." He greets the Armenian Catholic bishops in Rome for their synod, an invitation to hope for the peoples of the Middle East in their "severe suffering".

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - There is need for silence "within and without" to listen to God and to "prepare for his silence," for when he "does not seem to listen, to respond", but "the Christian knows that God is present and also listens in the darkness of our life ": the " silence of Jesus " show us as much, of which Benedict XVI spoke in his reflection for the 20 thousand people in St. Peter's Square for the general audience.
Armenian Catholic bishops were also present at the audience.  The group are in Rome for their Synod.  The Pope greeted them and spoke of his "prayerful thoughts for the Middle East by encouraging hope and persevere in the severe suffering that afflicts those dear people".

With his meditation on the "silence of Jesus," Benedict XVI concluded the series of reflections on the prayer of Jesus, to which he had devoted the recent cycle of general audiences.

The theme of the silence of Jesus is "so important in his relationship with the Father", especially on Golgotha, "the silence of the cross, the Word is silent." "In the silence, the last word is addressed to the Father and reveals that God also speaks through silence." "Even at the time of death he invoked God, he turned to him in the moment of his passing."

It is also a teaching that touches our lives in two directions: the first "concerning the reception of the Word, which requires inner and outer silence, so that the Word is heard and received," a silence "that is difficult in these times which are not conducive to recollection and that seem to be afraid to break away for a moment from the river of words that fill our days". As Verbum Domini tells us, "rediscovering the centrality of the Word in the Church is also to rediscover inner silence and recollection." "We have to dig deep into the inner space of ourselves, to allow it to be inhabited by God, so that His word remains in us, so that love for him is rooted in our minds and our hearts and animate our lives." "For us, who are often concerned about the operational effectiveness and results that we achieve, the prayer of Jesus means that we need to stop, to live moments of intimacy with God, detaching ourselves from the hustle of every day, to listen, to go to the root that sustains and nourishes life. "

Recalling the words of Jesus: "when you pray do not waste words like pagans, believe that you are heard, that God knows our needs' at any moment of our life," the Pope added that "God knows us intimately. More than we know ourselves, and he loves us: this should be sufficient. "

The second direction is that our silence "not only prepare us to listen, often in our prayer, we are faced with the silence of God that does not seem to listen, to respond, but the silence does not signal His absence, the Christian knows that God is present and hears even in the darkness of our lives. " "Of particular significance" in this regard is what the Bible says of Job, "this man slowly loses everything: family, property, friends, health, it seems that the attitude of God towards him is that of abandonment of silence. But Job, in his relationship with God in prayer, cries out to God and despite everything, still retains his faith and discovers the value of his experience and of the silence of God. "
 Citing the Compendium of the Catechism, Benedict XVI added that "Jesus teaches us to pray, not only with the Our Father, certainly the central act of teaching how to pray, but even when he prays. In this way, in addition to content, he shows us the provisions required for a true prayer: purity of heart, which seeks the Kingdom of God and forgiveness for your enemies; bold and filial confidence, that goes beyond what we feel and understand; vigilance, which protects the disciple from temptation. "
 "Reading the Gospels - he concluded - we saw how the Lord is, for our prayer, partner, friend, witness and teacher. Jesus reveals the novelty of our dialogue with God through prayer, that the Father expects from His children. And we learn from Jesus how constant prayer helps us interpret our lives, to make our choices, to recognize and welcome our vocation, to discover the talents that God has given us, to do His will daily, the only way to realize our existence. "