PODCAST | “Transfigured by Silence”
In this podcast, Msgr. Dolan shares a reflection on the importance of silence as exemplified in the passage of the Transfiguration of Christ. This Scripture passage reminds us of a popular verse from the book of Psalms, “be still and know that I am God” (Ps 46:11). The disciples who witnessed the transfiguration embraced the silence; they did not tell anyone what they had seen. They understood that anything other than silence would have ruined everything. Instead, they held on to the fresh memories they had made. Throughout the season of Lent, we are encouraged to create an interior silence that allows us to enjoy the presence of God.
Pope Francis shares that “the Lord speaks to us in a variety of ways, at work, throughout others, and at every moment. Yet, we simply cannot do without the silence of prolonged prayer, which enables us to perceive God’s language and to see the whole of our existence afresh in his own light” (Gaudete et Exsultate, no. 171). It is our role as Christians to see the whole of our existence the way that God sees it—to see our role in the history of the world and to discover the will of God. As we make these discoveries, we should have the confidence to joyfully live out this way of life.
Lent is a time of purification. The more we take time to think and pray about it, the more we realize the many distractions that are stirring within us. When we embrace silence in prayer, we can get away from the thoughts of what interests us and begin to see what interests God. Silence not only helps us understand the will of God but it also helps us to appreciate those around us and helps us to be charitable. Ultimately, the Lord will judge us on how we use our gifts, and as St. Josemaria shares in The Way, “after seeing how many people waste their lives…silence seems preferable to me, and more necessary than ever” (The Way, no. 447).
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Msgr. Frederick Dolan, a native of Bethesda, Maryland, was ordained a priest of the Prelature of Opus Dei in 1983. He has worked in Rome, New York City, South Bend (Indiana) and New Haven (CT). Since 1998 he has resided in Montreal and has been serving as Vicar of Opus Dei for Canada.