More on Lenten Silence – from Fr. Patrick Burns

We continue to reflect on silence here at St. Francis Borgia:

At Mass: Last week I showed the first two times that we encounter silence at Mass. This week, we will continue this reflection. The next time that we experience silence is after the readings. This is usually a brief silence that we can easily miss. However, the purpose of this silence is to allow us to reflect more deeply on God’s Word. The Instruction for the Mass says: “When the Sacred Scriptures are read in the Church, God himself speaks to his people, and Christ, present in his own word, proclaims the Gospel.” This is powerful for us to reflect on: when the Scriptures are read in the Church, God speaks to us! This means we need to listen. It also means that it can be helpful to have some time to reflect on what we just heard. For this reason, there is a brief silence after each of the readings, and after the homily. I encourage you to use that brief moment of silence to mull over the some of the words or phrases that you heard in the Scriptures. I have a friend who always looks for a word or phrase that sticks out to him in the readings. He sees that as a word that God gives him to continue reflecting on for the week. That’s a great strategy!

Into Great Silence: Back when I was in college I saw a film that came out at that time titled Into Great Silence. This film follows one of the most austere Catholic monasteries in the world. Throughout the film there is almost no talking and no voice-overs or even a description of their life. Instead the film gives a full immersion into the life. Rather than describing monastic life, the film draws us into that life of prayer. It’s quite amazing. We will be showing a short segment of the film this Sunday (March 11th) in the parish hall of the North Church at 4:30pm with a short discussion afterwards. If you’re reading this after the film has been shown, please consider watching the film at some point.

I hope that each of us has the opportunity to enter just a bit more into silence this Lent.

Fr. Patrick Burns