SHEPHERD'S VOICE

Most Rev. Dr. Albert D'Souza
Archbishop, Archdiocese of Agra
The Archdiocese of Agra


Archbishop's House
Wazirpur Road
Agra-282 003 U.P, (INDIA)
Off: (0562), 2851318, 2526397
E-mail: archdagra@yahoo.co.in



Our Lady of Silence

A rare event took place at the Vatican on May 18, 2015 when His Holiness Pope Francis Blessed an icon of Our Lady of Silence. The icon is placed in between two elevators at the main entrance to the Apostolic Palace in the San Damiano Courtyard.

The Holy Father chose to entrust the intention of devotion to Our Lady of Silence with the prayer, “May the Virgin Mary intercede to the Lord that all who enter the Apostolic Palace may always use the right words”.

It is symbolic that the Holy Father continuously offers tips for right human behavior, relationships leading to right forms of sensitivities, concerns, feelings, attitudes and sentiments that promote charity and the well-being of all.

Families and human communities hold the true pedagogy of learning right, prudent and acceptable habits and forms of behavior that sum up good manners in the service of righteousness or holiness of life. It is said “the written word remains (to be corrected)” but “the spoken word flies”, not within the reach of correction.

With the facility of communication the Holy Father at the General Audience in St. Peter’s Square on May 13, 2015 spoke on the three key expressions for family lives which are common to communities and ordinary relationships. The three expressions are, “May I”, “Thank You” and “Pardon Me”. He said that they are expressions of someone who is “well-mannered”. He further explained, specifying that this is not “a kind of formalism that marks a dryness of soul and indifference towards the other person” but a habit of relating that is “rooted in love for the good and respect for the other”. The Holy Father exhorted all to be good to one another.

One of the maladies of our times is gossip-mongering, slanderous speech, negative and destructive criticism and judgments on others, noise pollution, uninterrupted and indiscriminate use of electronic devices like mobiles, iPods, etc. SILENCE is not known to the modern generation. To some youth silence is frightening; to some others silence is “sterile”. But in fact, silence quietens the mind, smoothens the heart, prompts the conscience to speak and the spirit to be awakened. Silent self-reflection speeds up self-awareness and self-knowledge just as it rejuvenates mental energy and alerts intelligence. Silence aids observation power, accelerates wisdom. Silence means consent, silence is golden.

At the circumstance of the birth of Jesus and all along the life of Jesus, the Blessed Virgin Mary kept all these things pondering them in her heart “in silence”. The example of silence of Mother Mary, Seat of Wisdom, Queen of Peace is worth imitating. Because, silence is a pre-condition to peace. Intervals of silence in life’s busy schedule, provides one opportunities to listen to oneself, to others around and to God. Silence provides a rich resource to be sensitive to others and to act with concern and charity. This enhances upright relationships, promotes reconciliation and peace. Active and effective silence heals the wounds – internal and external, in human relationships. Silence cherishes peace, generates peace, radiates peace. In a way “silence” is the foundation of many other values as “charity” is the foundation of all virtues.

May Our Lady of Silence influence our life in the families, communities and in all forms of human relationships. .

Our Lady of “Silence” will teach us to think before we speak and to reflect before we act. May we learn to think and to speak well of one another!.

God bless you.

Albert D'Souza