Loading

Silence speaks

Julie Filby

Photo by Petr Kratochvil

You need not say much to communicate

Some studies show that, on average, men say about 6,000 words a day, and women close to 9,000 (it may come as no surprise to many of you that the tally is higher for us ladies).

Too many? Too few? Just about right?

Sunday, May 20 marked World Communications Day, an initiative proposed by the Second Vatican Council and launched May 7, 1967. It’s a day the faithful are asked to reflect on how we, specifically the media, communicate the Good News of the Gospel.

As a member of the Catholic media, writing for the Denver Catholic Register, I’m grateful for the privilege to help communicate the Good News of Jesus Christ to others. Proclaiming the Good News is a duty we all share. Though in today’s world of data bombardment, 24-hour news feeds, iPhones, iPads and i-can’t-get-away-from-the-noise, it’s no surprise the Holy Father would propose we all spend less time talking — and more time in silence — to potentially improve our communication.

Last January 24, the feast of St. Francis de Sales, patron saint of writers and journalists, Pope Benedict XVI released his message for the 46th World Communications Day “Silence and Word: Path of Evangelization.” He encouraged us to embrace silence in our lives to make us better communicators:

“Silence is an integral element of communication ... In silence, we are better able to listen to and understand ourselves; ideas come to birth and acquire depth; we understand with greater clarity what it is we want to say and what we expect from others; and we choose how to express ourselves.”

This message has perhaps never been more relevant than today in what the Pope has called our more “agitated, sometimes frantic” lives where Tweets, blogs, posts and check-ins have made some people afraid of silence and solitude — two components “essential for finding God’s love and love for others.”

When it comes to online communication, a September 2011 study by Nielson, indicated more than 215 million Americans are active on the Internet, with an average user spending 30-plus hours online each month; roughly eight of those on Facebook.

While Pope Benedict shared his support for evangelizing and developing relationships using social media like Facebook and Twitter, in last year’s message, he advised prioritizing is a whole lot more important:

“… silence becomes essential if we are to distinguish what is important from what is insignificant or secondary. Deeper reflection helps us to discover the links between events that at first sight seem unconnected, to make evaluations, to analyze messages.”

To make these connections, proper evaluations and understand messages, “it is necessary to develop an appropriate environment, a kind of ‘eco-system’ that maintains a just equilibrium between silence, words, images and sounds,” the Holy Father wrote.

As I seek to balance my own eco-system in “making space for silence and occasions for prayer, meditation and sharing of the word of God,” I hope to achieve authentic dialogue and deepen relationships which bring “value and meaning” to communication. In treasuring the gift of silence, I should hear others — my spouse, children, colleagues, family, friends and faith leaders – more clearly. Most importantly on the list should be the Lord.

When hearing the Lord more clearly, I’m more likely to discern what’s really important, and therefore, what I’m meant to do in my professional life, personal life and individual evangelization efforts.

Taking the Pope’s advice to heart, I’ve made a few small changes in my routine in the last week to incorporate more silence:

1) no news or talk radio in the car, only silence, rosary CD or music (I consume more than enough news and related opinions during my work day).

2) I’ve more or less stopped reading online comment boxes. Again, how many opinions do I really need to sift through in a given day?

While these changes may seem trivial, we all have different ways we can cut back on “the noise.” Through the gift of silence, we may hear the most important words enter our hearts, so we can understand better what God wants us to say, how to say it, and how we can more closely follow the path of evangelization he intends for us – whether that involves 9,000 words a day, 6,000, or a simple “yes”.

Posted with permission from FathersforGood.org, ©Knights of Columbus.

Topics: Culture , Faith , Meditations , Personal Growth , Prayer , Relationships

Julie Filby, wife and mother of two (ages 8 and 5), is a reporter for the Denver Catholic Register newspaper. She also enjoys blogging at Mother’s Musings about the simple ways Christ is unmistakably present in every-day family and work life. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter. She also contributes to CatholicMom.com and Catholic Lane.

View all articles by Julie Filby

Ads by Google
(What's this?)

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

RECENT POSTS

OUR TOPICS

Abortion (42)  Advent & Christmas (19)  Beauty (2)  Bioethics (4)  Books (55)  Church history (14)  Church teaching (28)  Contraception (22)  Culture (119)  Current Events (85)  Dating (15)  Death (4)  Depression (14)  Divorce (7)  Education (12)  Eucharist (3)  Exercise (3)  Faith (213)  Family (86)  Fashion (5)  Feminism (12)  Fertility (2)  Fitness (1)  Food (2)  Forgiveness (17)  Friendship (18)  Generosity (2)  Girl Scouts (2)  Grieving (1)  Health (23)  Home Management (17)  Humor (14)  Leadership (4)  Lent & Easter (12)  Liturgical Year (9)  Marian devotion (8)  Marriage (33)  Mature Years (5)  Meditations (17)  Mental illness (1)  Mercy (1)  Military Families (2)  Ministry (4)  Miscarriage (1)  Motherhood (55)  Movies (1)  Music (4)  Natural Family Planning (2)  Nutrition (4)  Parenting (44)  Personal Growth (105)  Politics (3)  Pornography (3)  Prayer (31)  Pro-Life (26)  Psychology (1)  Reflections (4)  Relationships (44)  Religious freedom (10)  Saints (9)  Scripture (6)  Service (8)  Sexuality (18)  Single years (4)  Social justice (1)  Social Networking (5)  Special Needs (3)  Spirituality (2)  Suffering (13)  Suicide (1)  Travel (11)  Welcome (1)  Women in the Church (3)  Women's Health (20)  Workplace (12)  Writings of the Saints (8)  Young Women (39) 

Apr
20

Liturgical Calendar

April 20, 2014

EASTER SUNDAY OF THE RESURRECTION OF THE LORD

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 24:13-35

Gospel
Date
04/20/14
04/19/14
04/18/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Acts 10:34a, 37-43
Second Reading:: Col 3:1-4
Gospel:: Jn 20:1-9

Homily of the Day

Lk 24:13-35

Homily
Date
04/20/14
04/19/14
04/18/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: