• Sarah Raad


“We need to find God, and God cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence.” (Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta).

The Transfiguration (Rubens)

Today – on Easter Saturday – we experience the GREAT SILENCE. It is today – in fact – when we await the resurrection of Christ, and this silence reflects the time when God was dead inside the tomb. Yesterday we observed His Death and today we wait – silently – while He remains in the tomb. Today we mourn. For tomorrow God rises from the tomb because Good Rises to defeat the evil death of Sin, and because of that, we will never die again...

During this GREAT SILENCE, there is no Mass celebrated by the Church. Today is the only day of the entire year when Mass is not celebrated. If a person attends an Easter Vigil Service today, they are celebrating the Feast of Easter, which is the feast for tomorrow – but they are not celebrating the feast of Holy Saturday itself.

And so – in a way – the entire Church is silent today…

And I have been reflecting on this silence – silently today…

For today, even the apostles of Christ mourned. There they sat in the upper room, waiting. How confused they must have been. How sad. Nothing would have made any sense to them. I imagine most particularly, Peter, James and John who Christ had taken up onto the mountain to pray and to witness His Transfiguration, which we commemorate in the fourth luminous mystery of the Most Blessed Rosary.

How could they possibly reconcile the GOD they had seen with the BODY in the tomb?...

“Jesus took with him Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray. And as he was praying, the appearance of His countenance was altered, and His raiment became dazzling white. And behold, two men talked with Him, Moses and Elijah... Peter said to Jesus, ‘Master, it is well that we are here; let us make three booths, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah’—not knowing what he said. As he said this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, ‘This is My Son, My Chosen; listen to Him!’...” (Luke, 9:28b-35).

And I have been reflecting on that passage on this day of silence, because I am trying to imagine how Saint Peter and James and John reconciled all of this in their minds. After all, I witness the face of GOD every single day of my life. I see His Holy Face in my children. I see It in my husband. He is there in my parents, and the strangers who I pass on the street. God walks among us and I watch Him there – even at times in His glory…

When I witness some act of inspiration or some message of hope. When I see evidence of Christian virtues or a rejection of temptation, that is when I see the Face of God. And, like Simon Peter, when this happens, I fail to stand silently and listen and reflect. No. I am like Simon Peter only in the vice and never in the virtue… Because when I see God’s transfigured Face, I too am “not knowing what I said”… And yet, I speak and speak and speak and speak.

You see, when Simon Peter saw the FACE OF GOD in his beloved Friend, he was surely shocked, not knowing what to do or say or think. After all, though He had proclaimed Christ the Messiah and the Son of God, he had surely not understood – with his mere human mind – the full extent of the implications of that proclamation! And when he was in fact confronted with the reality of God, instead of reflecting silently on what he was witnessing, Simon Peter called out. I do the same thing! Instead of silently reflecting I feel the urge to speak…

And it occurs to me on this most holy and silent day of the year, that perhaps I – like Simon Peter – should follow the advice of Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta, who said, “We need to find God, and God cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence.”

And so today – silently – I seek my God, the friend of silence…

For with prayer, I stand on Holy Ground where everything is clear. Here. At the Foot of the Cross.

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