Immaculately Quiet

The Church greets Mary, the Mother of God, as “Star of the Sea,” Ave Maris Stella.

Human life is a journey. Toward what destination? How do we find the way? Life is like a voyage on the sea of history, often dark and stormy, a voyage in which we watch for the stars that indicate the route.

The true stars of our life are the people who have lived good lives. They are lights of hope…Who more than Mary could be a star of hope for us?

With her “yes” she opened the door of our world to God himself.

–Pope Benedict XVI, Spe Salvi 49

…I am a neat man. Neat and clean in my environs, I mean. Some people say I am kind of a Nazi about it.

On the rare occasions when I have guests in my private quarters, they invariably say, “Father, your room is immaculate!”

The immaculateness of my room can be perceived by the senses. You can see, smell, and feel that the room is clean and orderly. You could even try to taste the cleanliness, but that would be kind of gross.

Our Lady’s soul is immaculate. Its immaculateness cannot be perceived by the senses. Its cleanliness and orderliness are invisible. In the things that she said and did while she was on earth, we see signs of the invisible immaculateness of the Blessed Virgin’s soul.

What about hearing? How do you hear immaculateness?

Wouldn’t it be the absence of all noise? Wouldn’t it be the perfectly clean sound of silence?

Our Lady was preserved from sin on December 8. On March 25, fourteen or fifteen years later, her silent soul was listening attentively.

We can be sure that when the Archangel Gabriel came to our Lady, he spoke very quietly.

She heard every word, contemplated every word, and said yes.

…Some people call Butler the “Cinderella” of the NCAA.

Call me an evil stepmother, but here’s hoping that midnight comes early tonight.

Temple of Silence

Woe to you who build the memorials of the prophets whom your fathers killed…This generation will be charged with their blood, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah who died between the altar and the temple building. (Luke 11:47, 51)

pinkHere is a line from a recent hit by a young lady called “Pink:”

“The quiet scares me ’cause it screams the truth.”

Maybe someday Pink will be called “the artist formerly known as Pink.” Apparently, even now, you are actually supposed to spell the name P!nk.

Regardless, she has expressed an important fact: In silence, the Truth speaks.

Tomb of Zechariah, son of Jehoiada, in the Kidron Valley
Tomb of Zechariah, son of Jehoiada, in the Kidron Valley

In the days of old, the Lord’s Temple in Jerusalem was the special sanctuary of truth-speaking silence.

The prophet Jehoaida convinced King Joash to raise money to maintain the Temple and keep it in good repair.

After Jehoiada died, however, the king and his princes forsook true worship and turned to idols.

Jehoida’s son Zechariah tried to call the people back to the Lord:

Why are you transgressing the Lord’s commands, so that you cannot prosper? Because you have abandoned the Lord, He has abandoned you. (II Chronicles 24:20)

For this, the king had Zechariah killed in the Temple court, and his blood stained the stones.

When the Lord Jesus was excoriating the scribes and Pharisees, He reminded them of this cold-blooded murder. Then He went on to say:

Woe to you, scholars of the law! You have taken away the key of knowledge. You yourselves did not enter and you stopped those trying to enter.

What is the key to entering the holy Temple? What do the violent, the self-righteous, and the self-indulgent NOT have–so the door is locked to them?

The key that opens the House of God is humble, attentive silence.