GAMES Riddle: If you speak my name, I disappear Riddle: SILENCE Lent Lent: time of preparation for Easter It lasts 40 days and 40 nights (not including Sundays) from Ash Wednesday until Holy Saturday (the day before Easter Sunday) It’s 40 days and 40 nights because that’s how long Jesus spent in the desert Lent All Christian denominations spend this time preparing for the high point of the liturgical year and Christian story, the Resurrection To mark Lent, Christians do three main things” Give things up (fast) Make a special effort to help others (almsgiving) Spend more time in prayer Silence We think Jesus spent most, if not all, of his time in the desert in silence. How much time do you spend in silence each day? How much time just contemplating? How much is taken up on Facebook, BBM, Candy Crush, etc.? Silence ♫ If my day were a musical score, how full of notes would it be? Link to John Cage 4’33 How much… are you busy? Very little Lots How much… Time on social media? Very little Lots How much… using technology each day? Very little Lots How much… time in silence? Very little Lots How much… time in prayer? Very little Lots World Religions Silence appears as a significant element in all major world religions. For many, it is essential for the most important spiritual practices, and integral as a way to meet God. Many atheists agree that silence and meditation are valuable exercises for the individual. World Religions Group work (not a time to practice being silent…) Islam The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) went on retreat to a cave in Mount Hira. Contemporary Sufis have tried to re-establish the practice of silent meditation and ritual devotion. Some Muslims are cautious about meditation because they don’t think silence should take over from speaking the words of the Qur'an. Islam The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) spoke against idle words “It is better to speak to a seeker of knowledge than to remain silent, but silence is better than idle words.” Sikhism The ideals of the Sikh faith advise the devotee to rise early in the morning and meditate on God. Sikhs normally do not say prayers while kneeling as Christians do. They either recite the word Waheguru or are completely silent. Atheism Sam Harris, one of the new atheists like Richard Dawkins, believes that “There are, in fact, many methods of meditation and “spiritual” inquiry that can greatly enhance our mental health while offering no affront to the intellect.” Sam Harris wrote a book called The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason Christianity The Carthusians are one of the most silent Catholic religious orders. They speak in the afternoon of one day a week; when in communal prayer; and when necessary for practical aspects of work and spiritual guidance. Clip from ‘Into Great Silence’ Silence and me? Play clip from ‘The Big Silence’ Reflection Led reflection Silent reflection “Silence is a source of Great Strength.” -Lao Tzu “If there were a little more silence, if we all kept quiet...maybe we could understand something.” ― Federico Fellini “Quiet is peace. Tranquillity. Quiet is turning down the volume knob on life. Silence is pushing the off button. Shutting it down. All of it.” ― Hosseini, The Kite Runner After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music. -Aldous Huxley “Silence is pure and holy. It draws people together because only those who are comfortable with each other can sit without speaking.” ― Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook “Let silence take you to the core of life.” - Rumi In the attitude of silence the soul finds the path in a clearer light, and what is elusive and deceptive resolves itself into crystal clearness. Our life is a long and arduous quest after Truth. - Gandhi "I make monastic silence a protest against the lies of politicians, propagandists and agitators..." —Thomas Merton, In My Own Words “I have always loved the desert. One sits down on a desert sand dune, sees nothing, hears nothing. Yet through the silence something throbs, and gleams” - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince “What we cannot speak about we must pass over in silence.” - Ludwig Wittgenstein “In the silence of the heart God speaks. If you face God in prayer and silence, God will speak to you...Souls of prayer are souls of great silence.” ― Mother Teresa “Silence is the mother of truth.” ― Benjamin Disraeli Give up facebook, twitter or something else and raise money for Charity? What might you do this Lent? Give things up (fast) Make a special effort to help others (almsgiving) Spend more time in prayer End Back to rest of PP With thanks to Loreto College, Manchester, for the main content of this lesson.