‘Silence’ Category Archives

10
Feb

VICTORIA’S NEW GOVERNMENT DEDICATES EASTER SUNDAY TO WHEELING AND DEALING: worship the dollar 365/365.

by Arnold Jago in Australia, God, Modern Church, Money, Prayer, Silence

The Victorian State Government intends cancelling the present ban on big businesses opening on Easter Sunday.

The reasons given by their spokespersons are pathetic:

* Minister Louise Asher says the ban “has cost business tens of millions of dollars”.

If their products are so marvellous, won’t customers come back another day and buy them?  Cannot holiday-makers enjoy their free time without pottering about indoors in shops?

* They say the new laws will overturn the “nanny state” and give people “more control over their lives”.

Is forcing workers — who want to spend Easter going to church and/or relaxing with family – forcing them to go to work . . . . Is that giving them “more control”?

* Robert Doyle says the new arrangement will make Melbourne “attractive, vibrant and busy”.

Being busy 365 days a year and pretending to be vibrant –- how better to set oneself up for a nervous breakdown? Were not 363 days enough days to worship money?

* * *

The Church should create major aggro about this attack on the Christian Faith.

Easter Sunday commemorates the Resurrection of Jesus the Son of God from the dead.

That historical event 2000 years ago is the key point in God’s revealing himself to the human race.

* * *

If God exists — and you think it is more important to vibrate and be attractive etc., while ignoring him who is our Maker and our Judge . . . .

Ignoring the redemption he offers . . . .

Frittering away this holy day — this opportunity for some silence and contemplating what is most important in life . . . .

 What could be stupider than that?

This Easter get back to basics. Contemplate and focus on God. Attend Catholic Mass.

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19
May

YOUR MOBILE PHONE: What is it doing to your body and your soul?

by Arnold Jago in Health, Lifestyle, Media, Silence

A few years ago, a study by Swedish scientists suggested that regular use of a mobile phone for 10 years or more can lead to increased rates of acoustic neuroma (a kind of brain tumour).

Since then, an Australian neurosurgeon, Dr Khurana, wrote in the non-scientific media (IndependentOnline) about an alleged “increasing body of evidence … for a link between mobile phone usage and certain brain tumours”.

He said it “is anticipated that this danger has far broader public health ramifications than asbestos and smoking”.

But the more recently-published 13-nation INTERPHONE project, the largest-ever study of its kind, has NOT found a solid link between mobiles and brain tumours.

For the present moment, we ordinary people simply don’t know the health implications of mobile phone use . . . .

* * *

There are, however, other issues relating to mobiles that we do know:

(1) Most mobile phone conversations that you hear or overhear are merely killing time — largely gossip and trivia. When people aren’t busy, they’ve developed the habit of reaching for the phone and talking to somebody, anybody – even if they have nothing to say that needs saying.

(2) Phone talk has become a way of avoiding silence and solitude. We fear being alone with our thoughts without a mobile to protect us.

(3) Least of all do we want to be conscious of being alone with God . . . .

* * *

Yet true religion teaches that we NEED time alone with God.

We should force ourselves set aside such times. Just turn the thing off — if somebody is looking for you, he/she can leave a message.

Are you really so important and indispensible that the world cannot manage without you for, say, fifteen minutes?

* * *

We need to take control of our technology. Not vice versa.

Modern people tend to be like the man whose dog takes him for a walk.

Turn the tables. Take charge of your life — at least for long enough to hand it over to God and let him take charge of it.

Do not hand your life over to addictive, soul-enfeebling electronic contraptions.

Silence in God's presence

5
Mar

IS THE WORLD TOO NOISY? What to do? Imitate Mary MacKillop.

by Arnold Jago in Contemplation, God, Lifestyle, Silence

When you go for a quiet walk and observe others walking with earphones on, you wonder what they are afraid of.

At church people talk right up to the moment the service starts — and resume talking the moment it ends.  You wonder why they came.

One can be arrested for polluting public air or water — but less likely for “noise pollution” (loud parties etc.). It’s so hard to police. Noise-makers are addicted to noise, often inebriated with alcohol or something else — they react with violence.

* * *

You could join the “Right to Quiet Society” organisation, which campaigns against noise pollution (www.quiet.org).

I wouldn’t.

Once we start talking “rights”, we’ve joined in the rat-race ourselves where he who shouts the loudest, (campaigns the hardest, clamours the most persistently) wins.

“Rights” are a bad way of thinking.

* * *

For what is left of Lent, you might give up canned noise.

Try not exposing yourself to electronically-transmitted sounds for 40 days.

You’ll find yourself praying without even meaning to . . . plus having more time for regular prayers.

* * *

Attend the Old Mass.

Most of the time the building is silent.

God is there.

Not only do you know in your head that he is there.

You can feel his presence in the quietness.

* * *

Blessed Mary MacKillop, renowned busy campaigner for children’s educational rights etc., spent long hours, silent, before the Blessed Sacrament in the chapel every day.

The original “Rule” for her Josephite Sisters said, “Silence shall be kept in every room, except during recreation in the community room. If necessity obliges, the Sisters may speak in other places, but in a whisper, and as briefly as possible . . . .  The hearts of the Sisters should be fixed upon God, and every occasion removed which would keep them attracted to external things . . . .”

Silence in God's presence

25
Dec

HAPPY CHRISTMAS: For young and old!

by Arnold Jago in God, Jesus, Silence, Truth, Youth

“Christmas is for the children,” we often say.

But after tearing open the latest plastic present, children soon get bored with it – or it falls apart – whichever comes first.

Christmas is NOT really a children’s thing.

* * *

To understand Christmas, a child needs help from devout adults.

Without Jesus, our Creator, becoming man at the first Christmas . . . .

our children have no future but to live and die for no reason whatever . . . .

and then to rot and become non-existent . . . .

* * *

The Bible says, “While all things were in silence, and the night was in the midst of her course, God’s almighty Word leapt down from heaven.” (Book of Wisdom, chapter 18)

Do you believe that?

If you do, you have discovered the meaning of Christmas . . . and of the Universe . . . .

25
May

Silent Progression

by Arnold Jago in Contemplation, God, Music, Prayer, Silence

What do you think of this?

Interesting, eh?

There’s something good about it — bold, audacious. Yes there’s something there to think about.

Not everybody could get away with this as well as BF, EJ, AM etc.

But hardly deep enough to support you in keeping the faith in a world as hostile to God as the one we inhabit today.

****

More traditional and musically in a different and higher class is this:


Still inspiring 268 years after being written’

Whenever this one is performed, everybody present feels it appropriate to stand up out of respect.

Yes, but it is very noisy, is it not?

Ideal, perhaps for public expressions of confident faith — but how useful in times when faith reaches breaking point through tragedy, despair and failure?

****

This next one takes us a long way towards contemplating and experiencing something of the infinity of God.

Yes, this one, more ancient, is more “supernatural” in its feel.

Some would say that it can take one as far towards experiencing God’s presence as we are willing to go. Do you agree?

Any faults? Perhaps the very beauty of this composition is, itself, a distraction.

Hard not to think of the genius who wrote it and the brilliance of the vocals required to sing it — which could take one’s mind off God himself.

****

This next is different again. Simpler.

Those who give their life fully to God, day in day out, by joining special communities — like entering a monastery — use the simplest, most ancient, of all musical forms — plainchant.

No distraction. Nothing to think about except God himself.

****

God does not call everybody to enter religious life as in leaving the outside world altogether.

Yet for everybody, the most important aid to meeting with God is available.

Yes to everybody.

That greatest of all aids to contemplation is SILENCE.

Blessed Mary MacKillop, like all saints, loved to spend time in silence with God — silently contemplating him.

Yes, she was a woman of action, but she believed such activity was a “less agreeable duty” which must not interfere with her primary interest, the contemplation of God.

In the early days, her younger sisters (Lexie and Annie) would mock Mary for the long times she spent in prayer and contemplation. Yet later, both became, themselves, women of prayer.

When Mother Mary was too preoccupied to stop her worldly duties, she tried to make all her life, even her busiest times, a prayer.

She wrote to Father Woods, “God’s presence seems to follow me everywhere and make everything I do or wish to do a prayer . . . . I love at night to sleep where I can see the lamp burning and the Tabernacle behind it.”

****

The silence that matters is inner silence.

Even if the world refuses to be quiet around you, you can still quieten the frettings about the future and the broodings about the past, which are the real enemies of spiritual silence.

Once they are put aside, even a busy life can be an on-going act of contemplation of the Lord.