Communicators Invited to Advent Silence

Journalists Asked If They Have Anything Substantial to Speak About

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VATICAN CITY, DEC. 14, 2010 ( The president of the Vatican’s media council is inviting social communicators to take this time of Advent to be silent.

Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, said this in a message to communicators of Latin America on the occasion of last Sunday’s feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

He noted how local Churches are promoting the continental mission, “recalling that to be disciples means to have lived a genuine encounter with [Christ], to have experienced his goodness, his love and his mercy in our personal history.”

“This experience,” the prelate said, “marks and transforms life in a permanent way, and that is why we wish to communicate it to others, thus transforming ourselves into men and women missionaries.”

Holding Mary’s hand

An encounter with the Lord is multi-faceted, Archbishop Celli proposed: It is both personal and communal, arising both in solitude and in the liturgy and family.
“It is nourished by dialogue and community prayer, expressed in song, in catechesis and ends in action and service,” he said. “That is why, on this feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, I would like to invite you, precisely as men and women communicators, to enjoy once more the experience of encountering Christ.

“I invite you to live moments of silence during these days of Advent, to hear Jesus’ voice who speaks to our heart. Holding Mary’s hand, let us meet with him without haste, as he always awaits us!”

The Vatican official recommended hushing the “flood of concerns and noises that so often drag us endlessly.”

“Silence,” he said, “is like a blank screen on which we can project the film of our daily life to see it clearly. If we project it on a wall full of pictures, books and objects, with a background of noise, we will understand little. […] In silence we hear the voice of God. In this way we will be able to be genuine bearers of his Word — as Mary who, ‘kept all these things in her heart.'”

Not so easy

Archbishop Celli acknowledged that his exhortation is difficult in times of “news bombardment, pastoral needs, bustle in families, in our media and in parishes, not to mention purchases, gifts, parties and celebrations.”

“However,” he said, “if we dedicate time to choose the ingredients and to prepare the dinners and meals we will share over the holidays, must we not also prepare, and even more so, what we will communicate through radios, newspapers, television programs and Web sites? What can we give that is substantial, if our life is filled only with repeated words, with little depth and contents? Let us dedicate time to the Lord whom we are awaiting this Advent.”

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