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The importance of Silence in Prayer

English: Jesus Christ - detail from Deesis mos...

Yesterday, the Vatican website was experiencing some technical difficulties, so this comes a day late.

This week, Benedict wrapped up the section on the catechesis on the prayer of Jesus within the larger Series on Christian Prayer.  He touched once again on the  the familiar theme of silence that he has woven into several different documents and general audiences.  Here is the excerpt he gave to the English-speaking audience:


Dear Brothers and Sisters,

In concluding this series of catecheses on the prayer of Jesus, I would like to speak of the importance of silence in our relationship with God. In Christ’s own life and prayer, and especially in his experience of the Cross, we see a constant interplay of word and silence. Jesus’ mortal silence on the Cross is his final word to the Father, his supreme prayer. To hear God’s word requires the cultivation of outward and inward silence, so that his voice can resound within our hearts and shape our lives. But Jesus teaches us that God also speaks to us, especially at times of difficulty, through his silence, which invites us to deeper faith and trust in his promises. Jesus is our great teacher of prayer; from his prayer we learn to speak with confidence to our heavenly Father as his beloved sons and daughters. In this filial dialogue we are also taught to recognize God’s many gifts and to obey his will, which gives meaning and direction to our lives.

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As always, the full text should be available on the Vatican website next week.  In the mean time, you can meditate on Zenit’s translation of the audience.


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