My Dear Friends,
“Without silence, God disappears in the noise. And this noise becomes all the more obsessive because God is absent. Unless the world rediscovers silence, it is lost. The earth then rushes into nothingness” —Cardinal Robert Sarah
Silence. The season of Advent begins and silence greets us. It is a welcoming silence. One that embraces and shelters us from a noisy world. It is in that silence that we can begin to prepare our hearts for the coming of the Lord.
Silence. So many times we cry out to God longing for our Savior, longing for him to intervene in our lives in a very definitive way and again, God responds with silence. Or at least that is what we feel. Yet, our Lord is always communicating with us. Isn’t that what love is? A constant communication of one soul to another. This Advent season we prepare for the coming of Love himself: Jesus Christ. It is in the silence that we discover him, understand him, learn to love him, obey him. In that silence we fall in love with He who humbled himself for our sake.
Silence. We need to learn to embrace it if we truly want to love the Lord. Our lives are so full of noise yet our hearts long for silence. At the end of Advent we will behold angels and shepherds and kings all searching for the newborn Christ child. But they do not find him in the noise. They find him in the silence of a manger.
Silence. Let us begin our Advent journey drawing inspiration from this key passage from the Old Testament about the prophet Elijah and how he encountered the Lord: “Then the LORD said: Go out and stand on the mountain before the LORD;* the LORD will pass by. There was a strong and violent wind rending the mountains and crushing rocks before the LORD—but the LORD was not in the wind; after the wind, an earthquake — but the LORD was not in the earthquake; after the earthquake, fire—but the LORD was not in the fire; after the fire, a light silent sound.” (1Kings 19:11-12)
Silence. That is where Elijah found the Lord. That is where we find the Lord today. We have been blessed that this year we get to celebrate Advent for four full weeks. This is rare, and it is an opportunity to properly prepare for Christmas. I invite you to spend time in the silence of our church during the day. Or in our Adoration chapel at any time of day or night. Or just simply standing outside on our lawn and silently praying before our Nativity Scene that draws so many people to our church. Bring a lawn chair if you want one evening and sit beholding this remarkable scene. Sure there will be noise from passing cars but that scene draws us in, welcomes us in a way that Mary and Joseph weren’t welcomed by the noisy inns of Bethlehem.
Silence. Let the silence of this season overwhelm us in such a way that we are transformed into fitting dwelling places for Christ, the Divine Word Made Flesh. Let us begin our Advent journey in this silence, and let Christmas find us proclaiming the glories of God with the angels at the birth of our Messiah.
God bless you all,