Silence teaches us a major rule of the spiritual life: familiarity does not foster intimacy; on the contrary, a proper distance is a condition for communion. It is by way of adoration that humanity walks toward love. (Beautiful!) Sacred silence opens the way to mystical silence, full of loving intimacy. Under the yoke of secular reason, we have forgotten that the sacred and worship are the only entrances to the spiritual life. Therefore I do not hesitate to declare that sacred silence is a cardinal law of all liturgical celebration. (Cardinal Sarah speaks from experience!)
Indeed, (silence) allows us to enter into participation in the mystery being celebrated. Vatican Council II stresses that silence is a privileged means of promoting the participation of the people of God in the liturgy. (Someone give Fr. Celebrity a metaphorical whack on the noggin and remind him that the Liturgy IS NOT all about him!) The Council Fathers intended to show what true liturgical participation is: entrance into the divine mystery. Under the pretext of making access to God easy, some wanted everything in the liturgy to be immediately intelligible, rational, horizontal and human. But in acting that way, we run the risk of reducing the sacred mystery to good feelings. (The tyranny of feelings has upended the Liturgy, made it subject to the whims of lay and ordained despots, and rendered the "source and summit of the Christian life" a football to be tossed about among heretics unable to appreciate the objective action of Jesus Christ in the Liturgy.) Under the pretext of pedagogy, some priests indulge in endless commentaries that are flat-footed (dull, trite, narcissistic, crass, cheap,...) and mundane (tiresome, vapid...). Are these pastors afraid that silence in the presence of the Most High might disconcert the faithful? Do they think that the Holy Spirit is incapable of opening hearts to the divine Mysteries by pouring out on them the light of spiritual grace?
Why is the idea of silence so essential in your view? Is silence necessary in order to find God, and in what was “is it man’s greatest freedom” (no. 25)? As “freedom”, is silence an ascetical practice?Cdl. Sarah: Silence is not an idea; it is the path that enables human beings to go to God.God is silence, and this divine silence dwells within a human being. By living with the silent God, and in Him, we ourselves become silent. Nothing will more readily make us discover God than this silence inscribed at the heart of our being. (Note: the silence of which Cardinal Sarah speaks is not the static, impotent quietism found among devotees of questionable practices such as Centering Prayer. The silence of which His Eminence speaks is a fullness, a silence of receptivity to the fullness of grace which God offers to the humble soul.)I am not afraid to state that to be a child of God is to be a child of silence.Conquering silence is a battle and a form of asceticism. Yes, it takes courage to free oneself from everything that weighs down our life, because we love nothing so much as appearances, ease and the husk of things. Carried away toward the exterior by his need to say everything, the garrulous man cannot help being far from God, incapable of any profound spiritual activity. In contrast, the silent man is a free man. The world’s chains have no hold on him.No dictatorship can do anything against a silent man. You cannot steal a man’s silence from him.