Silence in life is a rare commodity these days. Everywhere we go we are surrounded by noise. Whether it is the television, radio, our earbuds, traffic, planes, or conversations, we are inundated from morning until night. Yet we need quiet and even silence to be able to collect our thoughts, relax, and listen to God.
Silence, as well, is supposed to be part of our liturgies. Did you know that after the readings, we should take a little time to reflect in silence on what we have just heard? The word of God is so profound that it needs time to sink in. Yet how often we rush onto the next thing. Additionally, we are supposed to take time in silence after communion to reflect on the great mystery we have just received – – the body and blood, soul and divinity of our Lord! But how often we are distracted or, perhaps even on our way out, instead of taking time in prayer.
We are also supposed to be silent in church. While it is perfectly appropriate and recommended that we greet one another, that does not mean a long and loud conversation. I am surprised, even shocked sometimes, when I see, mainly our senior people, carrying on extended conversations in the sanctuary! These are the people who were taught by nuns that talking in church was a sin! That is one extreme, but we have now experienced the entire swing of the pendulum.
Let us respect one another’s need for silence and our need to prepare for Mass by some quiet in church before we begin. If we want to have an extended conversation with someone let’s do it in the narthex. That’s why it’s there. And let’s take some time before the awesome history of the Eucharist to pray in quiet