Silence is the language of God. It is necessary for prayer and worship. 

The practice of silence is commanded by spiritual writers and insisted on by founders of religious orders as an essential rule. For centuries, nuns and monks have arranged their lives around maintaining and guarding silence.

The silence that they encourage is not just the absence of noise. It is avoiding distractions and interference so that we can speak and listen to God more closely.

Practicing silence is an exercise in self-denial and restraint and is a virtuous penance.

Silence can also help to avoid evil. The Bible includes many verses that warn against the danger of careless speech.

Silence during Mass is so respected that it is referred to as sacred silence. The quiet before the Sacred Liturgy in preparation, during Mass before and after Holy Communion, and after Mass in thanksgiving, is considered a gift and set apart for the holy purpose of worship and reflection.

Being alone with God:

Finding silence takes practice:

It is good to hope in silence for the Lord’s deliverance.

Lamentations 3: 26

Silence reveals what is in our heart:

The Gospels often present Jesus, especially at times of crucial decisions, withdrawing to lonely places, away from the crowds and even from the disciples in order to pray in silence and to live his filial relationship with God. Silence can carve out an inner space in our very depths to enable God to dwell there, so that his word will remain within us and love for Him take root in our minds and hearts and inspire our life. Hence the first direction: relearning silence, openness to listening, which opens us to the other, to the word of God.

Pope Benedict XVI, General Audience, March 7, 2012

We encounter God in silence:

Contemplative prayer is silence, the “symbol of the world to come” or “silent love.” Words in this kind of prayer are not speeches; they are like kindling that feeds the fire of love. In this silence, unbearable to the “outer” man, the Father speaks to us his incarnate Word, who suffered, died, and rose; in this silence the Spirit of adoption enables us to share in the prayer of Jesus.

Catechism of the Catholic Church 2717

Deep and attentive silence at Mass:

Silence prepares us for an encounter with the Lord:

The Truth, Goodness, and Beauty of the Catholic Church

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