As a perpetual chatterbox I approach the mysteries of Holy Week with mixed emotions. The stark, somber tones of the liturgies are in direct contrast with my personality, so every year it is a struggle to focus. It is almost as if Holy Week was custom-made to test one’s new-found will that has been building through self-denial in the rest of Lent. Learning to appreciate the silence is a hard virtue for me. Maybe it was growing up in a large family, where a silent moment to yourself was only obtained by literally climbing out on the roof. But here on Holy Thursday the world falls into a silence as we focus on the magnitude of what Christ did for us, and in that silence we learn self-denial.
Every Lent it seems that Jesus gives you one (or two!) faults you might have been struggling with, and makes them obvious to you. Like the time I was trying not to be vain and I burned my chin with a curling iron and got stung in the eye by a wasp. These moments serve to make us conscience of our faults. And this year, I have been forced to reflect on the level of noise in my life.
As I attended Holy Thursday mass I was noticed the silence more than ever. As the Gloria was sung, we departed from organ music to mournful chant and from there a silent procession to the altar of repose.
We all reach a point in our life where the silence speaks the loudest. There is power in silence that can be felt with the whole being. Like the point in a movie, where the scene goes into silent slow motion as we feel what the on-screen life is going through.
St. Faustina wrote in her diary “Silence is a sword in the spiritual struggle. The sword of silence will cut off everything that would like to cling to the soul.”
Or as the brilliant Archbishop Chaput said “We need silence, more than anything. If people can create some time every day — even just an hour — when they eliminate all the distracting noise of American life, their spirit will naturally begin to grow. Daily life in the United States is so filled with appetites and tensions stimulated by the mass media that turning the media off almost automatically results in deeper and
So during these last days of Lent, let us reflect on the silence of the cold dark tomb, and wait for the joy of Easter.