The famous folk-rock song, ‘The Sound of Silence’ begins with these haunting words:
Hello darkness, my old friend
I’ve come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Within the sound of silence
Now we can take comfort from these words for they affirm that somewhere along the line a vision really was planted in our brain, it’s just that the vision has been blurred, discolored, ever so slightly erased. Why, how? Well again Simon and Garfunkel might be onto something for in the last verse the lyrics state that:
The people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made
Lent provides Christians with the opportunity to reconnect with Jesus, to look into our darkness, to find the vision of truth and beauty that was originally planted in our brains, to consider the false Gods we have created and, to quietly get rid of them.
But one further thought:
In Lent, why don’t we as individual Christians, and as members of the ‘One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church,’ keep quiet, silent even, and use the penitential season to fully reconnect with what it means to grow into the love of Christ; who knows a quiet Church fully living out the gospel in both the ordinariness and extraordinariness of life might grow into a truly missionary church?
Jesus told Peter, to tell know one what he had seen at the Transfiguration, (lectionary reading Sunday before Lent), for once Peter did the right thing and kept his mouth shut. Remaining silent allowed Peter to place the Transfiguration into the much larger narrative of trial, Crucifixion,Resurrection, Ascension and Pentecost, Jesus on the shore of Galilee was able to reaffirm Peter, giving him his true vocation. Was this because Peter did as he was told and remained silent and that through silence he was able to really grasp hold of the entire vision? I think so.
Should we keep quiet this Lent?