Sunday, December 21, 2014

The Need for Silence: An invitation for the last days of Advent.

   As we approach Christmas Day I invite my readers to reflect on the first two verses of the hymn, Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silent:

Let all mortal flesh keep silence,
And with fear and trembling stand;
Ponder nothing earthly minded,
For with blessing in His hand,
Christ our God to earth descendeth
Our full homage to demand.

King of kings, yet born of Mary,
As of old on earth He stood,
Lord of lords, in human vesture,
In the body and the blood;
                                                              He will give to all the faithful
                                                              His own self for heavenly food.

   Of course this hymn invites us in silence to ponder the great gift of the Incarnation, of God taking on human flesh.  It likewise call us to ponder how this great mystery is continued in the Eucharist.  In these last days of Advent, amidst the hustle, bustle and noise around us, even the noise of Christmas preparation, I think it is good for us to step back in silence and ponder what we are celebrating.

   Beyond reflecting on the meaning of what we are celebrating I think that we are called to holy silence  as we deal with the many issues placed before us today, issues such as race relations, immigration, tensions within the Church, just to name a few.  Our social media, which can do so much good, are quite frankly filled with immature, foolish rants by both liberals and conservatives.  I'm sorry but "OOh, look at how this conservative sticks it to this liberal," or, "Wow,  look at how this liberal makes a fool out of this conservative," does no good in advancing real discussion on the issues of the day.  Even worse than this are the statements that "Politican X or Y is a low life and an idiot."

   What I believe is needed is to first enter into a prayerful silence, a silence that invites us to put our preferred opinions aside for a moment and to look deeper, to see if there isn't another level at which to approach things, to ask oneself if I am really seeking truth or just seeking to entrench myself further in my own point of view.  We need to have discussion that leads us to a common consensus rather than ones that divide us further.

  I have created a link to a meditation by Richard Rohr, OFM on this subjest. I invite you to read and ponder it. /Richard-Rohr-s-Meditation.

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