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!

Progress toward our October expenses ($33,217 to go):
$35,000.00 $1,783.25
95% 5%
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.

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

Recent Catholic Commentary

Using the figure of Pope Francis for evangelization 8 hours ago
If Catholic priests never preach on sexual morality, be suspicious 8 hours ago
On Bishops and Jesuits, Saints and Angels September 30
Bishop Finn in Kansas City: Not quite up to date? September 30
Oh, that sort of misconduct September 29

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Cardinals criticize Kasper proposal, escalating debate on remarriage/Communion CWN - September 18
Cardinal Parolin: UN must protect innocents from Islamic State CWN - September 30