Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Silence is key to communication, Pope writes

Catholic World News - January 24, 2012

Silence is a key to effective communication is a word overwhelmed by information, argues Pope Benedict XVI.

In his message for the annual World Day for Social Communications, the Holy Father writes that silence and words are “two aspects of communication which need to be kept in balance.”

The papal message, entitled Silence and Word: Path of Evangelization, was released, following a Vatican tradition, on January 24: the feast of St. Francis de Sales, patron saint of journalists. The World Day for Social Communications will be observed on May 20.

In his message Pope Benedict remarks that “learning to communicate is learning to listen and contemplate as well as speak.” Even for those who are trying to spread a message, such as the mission of the Gospel, it is critically important to listen and observe as well as to speak, he says.

Moreover, the Pope continues, the most effective forms of communication can take place in silence, through gestures and by examples. This is particularly true, he notes, of intimate and loving communication.

The importance of silence is redoubled, the Pope continues, at a time when modern communications make so much information available:

Indeed, people today are frequently bombarded with answers to questions they have never asked and to needs of which they were unaware. If we are to recognise and focus upon the truly important questions, then silence is a precious commodity that enables us to exercise proper discernment in the face of the surcharge of stimuli and data that we receive.

The constant clamor for our information, the Pope writes, can often distract attention from more profound and simple questions. He suggests that the ceaseless quest for information also points to a restlessness of spirit, and says that this restlessness can only be solved in silence, through acceptance of Jesus Christ.

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Fall Campaign
Progress toward our year-end goal ($24,967 to go):
$150,000.00 $125,032.96
17% 83%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 1 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: normnuke - Jan. 24, 2012 10:33 PM ET USA

    I have recently been impressed with how ancient Greek drama makes powerful use of things don't happen. Becoming sensitized to the importance of action that is absent is a big part of understanding the action that does happen. This is not a skill that TV teaches.

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

The cardinal who can't let go 3 hours ago
Denial of Service Attack: Success! December 19
Federal debt as a social-justice concern December 19
Another side of Francis: US-Cuba role shows Pope's diplomatic muscle December 18
Silly season: a Christmas approaches, a scholar questions whether Jesus ever existed December 18

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis: Europe seems 'elderly and haggard' CWN - November 25
Pope Francis, Ecumenical Patriarch sign joint declaration, lament persecution of Christians CWN - December 1
Consistory for new cardinals scheduled for February CWN - December 11
Vatican report on US women religious calls for further self-assessment CWN - December 16
Pope brokered deal to open US-Cuba ties CWN - December 17