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Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2494

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‘We need to find silence in our lives and in the Church,’ says Bishop in Advent pastoral letter


The Bishop of Shrewsbury has asked the faithful during to seek more attentive silence in their lives and in the life and worship of the Church.

The Rt Rev. Mark Davies urged Catholics to “rebel against the dictatorship of noise” which made it difficult to hear the God who speaks and to recognise Jesus Christ “in the silence of the Eucharist”.

In a pastoral letter for the First Sunday in Advent, the Bishop said: “We all need to find silence in our lives. Yet sometimes our parish churches can lack the attentive silence of prayer and an excess of talking can mark church life today when we have such need of deeper and more attentive silence.”

The Bishop commended the recent book by Cardinal Robert Sarah “The Power of Silence Against the Dictatorship of Noise” urging Catholics to find time each day for silent prayer and to make use of the precious time before the celebration of Mass to come to know the silence of Christ’s presence in the Blessed Sacrament.

The Rt Rev. Mark Davies, the Bishop of Shrewsbury, said: “A precondition for so recognising Him is something we can lack amid all the noise of contemporary life: that is attentive silence.”

“This leads us to gather quietly in preparation for Mass; to listen silently to the Scriptures read and proclaimed; and to go to our knees in deepest silence as the priest lifts the Host and Chalice that all eyes may be fixed on Him present as God and man,” he said.

“Without silence we cannot hear the God who speaks nor recognise Him in the silence of the Eucharist,” Bishop Davies added.

Bishop Davies said: “At the beginning of Advent, may I invite you to seek such silence and to rebel in your own lives against ‘the dictatorship of noise’ so we hear the God who speaks.

“Let us find some time each day for silent prayer; quietly open the pages of the Gospel and take up the Gospel prayer of the Rosary which leads us into the silent prayer of Mary’s Immaculate Heart.

“Let us spend the precious time before Mass coming to know the silence of Christ’s presence in the Blessed Sacrament … Together with Pope Francis, let us ask Our Lady to help us listen so we can pray amid the confusion of conflicting words and the uproar of many voices, ‘Let it be to me according to your word’ .”