Silence is Golden

I mentioned the other day that for the beginning of Advent, I invited the kids to pray in silence at the start of class. A friend of mine who used to be a 6th grade catechist remarked, “Oh, that’s the way I prayed with them almost all of the time.” I thought that was very refreshing. We sometimes think of prayer as a space that we have to fill up with words, when what we really need is to allow God to fill that space. Silence is one of the most profound ways that God talks to us. That doesn’t mean that in the midst of silence, we hear a voice. It means that the silence itself is God “speaking” to us. Kids could use more silence. What a gift we can offer them if we built silence into our sessions.

How about you? What role does silence play in your life? in your teaching?

About Joe Paprocki 2742 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at


  1. I was thinking at Mass the other day that we really need more than a few seconds after each reading to let the Word “speak” to us. It’s too bad some pastors, mine included, feel that those times of silent reflection which are built into the liturgy are awkward. Give it a chance. People adapt.

  2. Whenever the priest says “Let us pray”, a moment of silence is appropriate in order to to focus our thoughts.
    A brief silence after the homily gives the assembly time to think about what they have just heard.
    Of course we need time to reflect silently after communion.
    It’s vital that we rediscover silent reflection and teach our children the value of it as well. I think it was St. Ignatius of Antioch who said that it is in silence that we can find Christ. Silence during liturgy, or during personal reflection is a form of spirituality.

  3. I agree, Lauretta. I would also like to see some silence right before the Mass begins. Often, people are chatting away right up to and during the welcome by the cantor or commentator.

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