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Bacolod City, Philippines Tuesday, July 3, 2018
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Rock and Refuge
with Fr. Roy Cimagala
OPINIONS

The power of silence

Rock & Refuge

We need to appreciate the power of silence, the silence of Christ, the silence of God. It is definitely not the silence of the dumb, the damned and defeated, the mute, the coward, the lukewarm, the complacent, the self-satisfied, etc. It is the powerful, wise and prudent silence of God’s love, of his omnipotent providence, of his redemptive sacrifice. It is the silence of patience.

Especially these days when we can be subjected to ridicule for our beliefs and religious practices, we need to have the power of Christ’s silence. The silence of Christ in the face of all the insults, mockeries and the worst injustice inflected on a person was never a sign of defeat, of moral neutrality.

That silence is the highest expression of love and mercy, of understanding and compassion, of humility and meekness. It is the silence of the sacrificial lamb who wants to suffer and to be sacrificed so that our sins can be forgiven. It is a silence for our salvation.

We are invited to have this kind of silence when faced with insults and ridicule. Yes, we can and should proclaim and defend the truth, the truth of our faith, but always in charity, in season and out of season, without anger and hatred.

We have to avoid playing the game of the devil by entering into polemics, wanting always to win in a discussion or debate, to gain dominion over others, and to pursue a triumphalistic kind ofvictory. That kind of attitude can only reveal the hidden pride in our heart.

We have to be careful in this regard because we cannot deny that the world culture now encourages debates and controversies in the thought that things can be settled definitively that way.

We have to remind ourselves that in this life, we can only have relative peace and harmony. The definitive one can only come from God who reveals to us through Christ how to handle the many contradictions in our life. And the way is only through the cross, through suffering, and the silence that accompanies such suffering.

We just have to have firm faith in the teaching and example of Christ. It is the faith that should lead us to have a sporting spirit in our life, and a good sense of humor, because as long as we are with Christ, we know that everything will always work out for the good, including those that may appear in human terms as our defeat and loss.

Yes, we have to condemn the sin, but we should do everything to save the sinner. God, as St. Paul said it, made Christ like sin without committing any sin so that we might become the righteousness of God. (cfr. 2 Cor 5,21) That is the extent to which Christ was willing to go to save us. And we just have to follow that example as best as we can and with God’s grace.

We have to avoid what is known as bitter zeal. It is the zeal that comes not from charity and mercy, but from pride. It is the zeal that may produce some fake forms of success and victory, but itactually produces more harm than good on everyone.

Let’s remember that God never loses a battle. No matter how hostile we are to him, and how we manage to silence him, and even to kill him as in the case of Christ, he will always win, he will always have the last word. And he is so magnanimous that he is all too eager to offer mercy and forgiveness inspite of all.

We really need to appreciate the real value of silence, the silence of God, of Christ, resisting the temptation to be noisy. It’s clear that it is a silence full of purifying and redemptive power.*

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