An article in the Washington Post on January 24th, started with the line, ” Pope Benedict XVI is asking everyone to quiet down.” While Pope Benedict has been a huge supporter of using social media to spread the faith and reach out to others, he also urges people to stop for silence and disconnect from the “tweets”, “facebook statuses” and constant communication:
Benedict has in recent years used his annual communications message to comment on social media. He has urged priests to blog and Catholics who spread the faith on Facebook and other social networks to be respectful of others.
This year, his attention turned to the need to occasionally tune out the social media information overload to allow time for greater reflection. He called for striking a balance between silence, words, images and sounds.
“By remaining silent, we allow the other person to speak, to express him or herself, and we avoid being tied simply to our own words and ideas without them being adequately tested,” he said.
He noted that sometimes the most authentic communication takes place in utter silence, “between people who are in love: gestures, facial expressions and body language are signs by which they reveal themselves to each other.”
Silence also allows for greater discernment about what is really worth listening to, Benedict said. And of course, it allows for prayer, contemplation and silent conversation with God.
Today, I invite you to pause and gift yourself with a moment of silence!
Another article on Pope Benedict on Silence over at Catholic News Service: Silence is Key Ingredient