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I was recently celebrating the first week of Lent with believers who marked the occasion by offering a day of silence, that is, not speaking. Why would we do that? Does the Almighty like silence? Does the Almighty need our silence? Is it an act of penance or sacrifice or do we do it for ourselves?

Timely silence has many advantages. Silence is often a tool of meditation and contemplation. In not speaking we still our hearts to listen. To God and to each other, to the whisper of our hearts. Silence can be shared with those of other faiths. Music, food, drink can all offend but silence can unite us.

Silence is not just refraining from speech, but can be enjoyed for its own sake. The silence of nature, if we incline our ear, often gives way to subtle sounds and movements. The silence of the cathedral allows us to focus our thoughts inward and then outward. Silence allows the still small voice to penetrate.

I wish you every blessing.