Loading
Noisy world is enemy of prayer, says Pope Benedict
Pope Benedict XVI in St. Peter's Square
Pope Benedict XVI in St. Peter's Square
By David Kerr
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- The constant noise that accompanies modern life is an enemy of God’s word being heard in prayer, Pope Benedict XVI said.

“Interior and exterior silence are necessary in order to hear that Word,” and yet, “our age does not, in fact, favor reflection and contemplation,” the Pope said March 7. On the contrary, “it seems that people are afraid to detach themselves, even for an instant, from the spate of words and images which mark and fill our days.”

The Pope was addressing over 10,000 pilgrims who gathered in St. Peter’s Square for his Wednesday general audience. This was the first audience of the year held in the open air. It was also the last in the Pope’s series of catecheses on the personal prayer of Jesus.

Today, his particular focus was on Christ’s silence on the cross, as well as the need for silence in our own prayer.

Throughout the Gospels, Jesus is repeatedly “withdrawing alone to a place far from the crowds, even from his own disciples, where he can pray in silence,” he observed.

The “great patristic tradition,” the Pope said, also teaches Christians that “the mysteries of Christ are linked to silence, and only in silence can the Word find a place to dwell within us.”

He then explained to the pilgrims that this “principle” of silence “holds true for individual prayer” and for Catholic liturgies, which, “to facilitate authentic listening, must also be rich in moments of silence and of non verbal acceptance.”

Silence has “the capacity to open a space in our inner being, a space in which God can dwell, which can ensure that his word remains within us, and that love for him is rooted in our minds and hearts, and animates our lives,” taught the Pope.

Even when people feel “a sense of abandonment” in the silence of prayer, and they worry that “God does not listen and does not respond,” Pope Benedict said that they should be reassured that “this silence, as happened to Jesus, does not signify absence.”

“Christians know that the Lord is present and listens,” the Pope assured, “even in moments of darkness and pain, of rejection and solitude.”

This is why the prayer of Jesus, as recounted in the Gospels, “is a reminder that we need to stop, to experience moments of intimacy with God, ‘detaching ourselves’ from the turmoil of daily life in order to listen.” In doing so, we return “to the ‘root’ which nourishes and sustains our existence.”

Pope Benedict then quoted from the Catechism of the Catholic Church as he reflected on Jesus’ silent prayer reaching its apex during his passion and death on Golgotha.

During that time of suffering, when “his cry to the Father from the cross encapsulated ‘all the troubles, for all time, of humanity enslaved by sin and death, all the petitions and intercessions of salvation history are summed up in this cry of the incarnate Word,’” he said.

“Here the Father accepts them and, beyond all hope, answers them by raising his son,” he concluded. “Thus is fulfilled and brought to completion the drama of prayer in the economy of creation and salvation.”

Pope Benedict then addressed the pilgrims in various languages before leading them in the singing of the Our Father in Latin and imparting his apostolic blessing.

Tags: Vatican, Pope Benedict, General audience

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
The tombs of the early Christians
Missionaries of Africa, called "the White Fathers"
Italian youth give testimony after mission to Peru
Interview with Iraqi Ambassador to the Holy See on the persecution of Christians
New book 'The Vatican unknown'
A Look at India from Rome
3D Church mapping
Sep
23

Liturgical Calendar

September 23, 2014

Saint Pius of Pietrelcina, Priest

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 8:19-21

Gospel
Date
09/23/14
09/22/14
09/21/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Prov 21: 1-6, 10-13
Gospel:: Lk 8: 19-21

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

Saint
Date
09/23/14

Homily of the Day

Lk 8:19-21

Homily
Date
09/23/14
09/22/14
09/21/14