Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) - It is impossible to be in His Presence, in the presence of Christ in person, now, unless we are educated to silence. Laurentius the Hermit used to say: «It was then that I understood I would live my life in the memory of that experience. The memory of You fills me with silence». Our knowledge of Christ is a donum Dei Altissimi, and is therefore to be implored, tenaciously and faithfully.
This is why a time in the day dedicated systematically to silence is fundamental in the life of the priest which will otherwise be disperse among a thousand and one details and worries. The life of the priest, even of the most active missionary, must have a monastic structure, or it will be fragile, it will lack the capacity for authentic construction. It is through silence that we learn to be with people in a different manner, to speak with people in a different manner, to laugh with people in a different manner. We become happier but also more profound.
Silence cannot be reduced to a time of “up-dating”. Even though our time for reading - the lives of the saints or the history of the Church - also has the structure of prayer. This is why I teach my seminarians to start the daily hour of silence we hold in our Formation House with ten minutes of prayer kneeling in front of Christ and to conclude it with a decade of the Rosary: a prayer which is request, offering of self, invocation for God’s blessing on the Church, on the persons entrusted to us. Only an urgent matter of charity should dispense from this part of the day dedicated directly to Christ. (Agenzia Fides 14/7/2006 - righe 19, parole 280)