Speaking from the window of the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace, the pope told the pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square that spending time in silence with the Gospel is like “medicine” for one’s spiritual life.
“Every day a little silence and listening, fewer useless words, and more of the Word of God,” Pope Francis recommended.
He said that it is a good thing to turn to the Lord with prayer requests, but above all, it is important to listen to the Lord.
“Jesus asks this of us. In the Gospel when they ask Him what is the first commandment, he answers: ‘Hear, O Israel.’ Then he adds ... 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart ... and your neighbor as yourself” (Mk 12:28-31). But first of all, he says, 'Hear, O Israel,’” the pope explained.
Pope Francis said that today many people have “an interior deafness” that Jesus can touch and heal. This “deafness of heart” can lead to a deadening of awareness of the needs of those around us, he said.
“Taken up with haste, by so many things to say and do, we cannot find time to stop and listen to those who speak to us. We run the risk of becoming impervious to everything and not making room for those who need to be heard. I am thinking about children, young people, the elderly, the many who have less need for words and preaching, and more to be heard,” Francis said.