Vatican City, Jan 10, 2018 / 04:00 am
Pope Francis said Wednesday that moments of silence in the Mass should be intentional times of prayer, recollection and communion with God, rather than being viewed as times to just be quiet or not speak.
“Silence is not reduced to the absence of words, but (is) the availability to listen to other voices: that of our heart and, above all, the voice of the Holy Spirit,” the Pope said Jan. 10.
In silence, then, we discover “the importance of listening to our soul and then opening it to the Lord.”
Continuing his general audience catechesis on the topic of the Mass, Pope Francis reflected on the nature of the different moments of silence found within the celebration, especially in the recitation of the collect.
The collect, which is prayed after the Gloria, or if the Gloria is omitted, following the Penitential Act, is a short prayer which goes from praise to supplication, and is generally inspired from the day’s Scripture passages, the Pope said.
This prayer, which varies according to the day and time in which the Mass is being said, begins with the priest saying to the people, “Let us pray,” followed by a brief silence.
“I strongly recommend priests observe this moment of silence, which without wanting to, we risk neglecting,” Francis noted.
In this moment the congregation is exhorted to come together in silence, to become aware of the presence of God, and to bring out, “each one in his own heart, the personal intentions with which he participates in Mass.”