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Thanksgiving – Silence

As an exercise in almsgiving over the next 40 days, this webpage will joyfully give up its praise and thanks for one aspect of life, and not always necessarily a religious one.

If I were a doctor and were asked for my advice, I would reply: Create silence! The Word of God cannot be heard in the noisy world of today. Soren Kierkegaard


In the 1960s there were a number of pop songs that centred around the subject of silence – Simon and Garfunkel’s The Sound of Silence and the Tremeloe’s Silence is Golden spring to mind. Even then the concept of a moment’s peace and quiet seemed to be in retreat. In the modern era we can’t walk ten feet down the street without the ping of incoming email or text messages piercing even the most peaceful setting. Yet we must fight this overpowering trend of noise at every turn. Our souls, whilst enjoying the energy of activity and bustle, also need the counterbalance of moments of peaceful solitude and quiet to remain in harmony, especially to hear the word of the Lord and its inscription in our hearts.

There are admittedly some people that can’t stand the silence. They feel adrift or cut off from the stimulus of interaction. Jesus didn’t number among them, as a number of pivotal moments in his life occurred in a deafening silence – the Garden of Gethsemane where he had to summon up the courage to live out his fate, and earlier than that – his period of 40 days in the desert grappling with the devil, hearing nothing but the howl of the wind and his own inner questioning.

It’s ironic that at a time when vocations have been in decline in the west (although it must be said the Brisbane archdiocese has enjoyed a full house at the seminary for a number of years) there are many from the secular world who now clamber for the experience of a retreat to a cloister, if only for a weekend. What is it they are searching for? Some rest, inner peace, a further realisation of who they are and what they want from life? All of these are true to one extent or the other but the tangible benefits are harder to divine. By retreats end, what you have learned is difficult to sum up, but your sense of the world is perceptibly altered.

To all those pockets of the world where silence reigns supreme, we say thank you. Long may you remain untouched in order that we might be able to think, discern and most importantly of all, to feel.

Previous thanksgiving article: Technology

The season of Lent asks of us for sacrifice and the foregoing of many things, but an attitude of joy and gratitude should not be amongst them.

As an exercise in almsgiving over the next 40 days, this webpage will joyfully give up its praise and thanks for one aspect of life, and not always necessarily a religious one.

At the outset it should be made clear the viewpoints expressed here are a matter of individual opinion. If any one item doesn’t coincide with your own personal tastes then why not seek to better it with some thanksgiving of your own rather than a critique? You are always welcome to do so at the Archdiocesan website feedback mechanism.

So we invite you to come, walk with us awhile, and be thankful as we journey together to Calvary and beyond to Easter.

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