Pope says God speaks in whispers, so hush a bit

Categories: Nation/World

December 20, 2013, edition
By Catholic News Service

If silence is not one of the sounds associated with Christmas preparations, chances are people will miss an experience of the love and tenderness that is at the heart of the holiday, Pope Francis said.

Celebrating Mass Dec. 12 in the chapel of his residence, Pope Francis offered a reflection on the tone of voice and the endearments God uses to speak to people and communicate his love.

It’s not so much what God says as how he says it, the pope said in his homily. “When a child has a bad dream and wakes up crying,” he said, “Dad goes and says, ‘Don’t be afraid, don’t be scared. I’m here.’

“The Lord speaks this way, too,” he said, pointing to the day’s reading from Isaiah 41, in which the Lord reassures Jacob, affectionately calling him a little worm.

“When we watch a dad or mom talking to a child, we see how they become small, using the voice of a child and the gestures of a child,” he said. “From the outside one can think, ‘Oh, how ridiculous.’ They make themselves smaller, don’t they? That’s because a father’s or mother’s love needs to be close. I’d say this: They need to crouch down to enter the world of the child.”

The language of the Lord is the language of love and tenderness, of whispers and extreme simplicity, he said.

“Usually, Christmas seems like a very noisy feast,” he said, but “we can use a bit of silence to hear these words of love, closeness and tenderness.”