Chiara Lubich in 1943 founded a movement in Italy called (Hearth) “Focolare.” She spread her message of unity in the crucified and abandoned Christ around the world. She gave this insightful meditation on the state of the world:
Humanity suffers from deafness, she said. It can no longer hear the Word of God through speech because there is too much noise in the world. Parents and children are too busy to listen to Christ’s message. They have no time to listen for ways to heaven. They no longer hear the sounds of people crying or suffering even in their own homes.
Lets admit to one another that our attention is attacked on every level by too much information from inane T.V. programming, political advertisements, shallow celebrity, all mixed together with a chaotic busyness. Silence is becoming something we fear, because in it we feel more alone and empty.
Because deafness to spiritual reality and even to our own human reality afflicts us, as disciples of Jesus, we need to find ways that will break down the walls if our modern culture in order to teach Christ and His sacraments.
Men, women and children can still see and touch and feel – so perhaps the best way today to teach Jesus is for us to become better witnesses to the Gospel we want to preach. For those of us who claim to be imitators of Christ, though imperfect ones; and for those who are willing to accept the Cross in His Name, Chiara Lubich says: you “become, for the mute-words; for the doubtful, the answer; for the blind, light; for the deaf, voice; for the weary, rest; for the desperate, hope; for the alienated, unity; for the restless, peace.”
Here in our parishes both Saint Teresa and Mother of Divine Providence have established a school where children learn how to listen, how to observe and how to teach others by their example.
We bring this to your attention this week so we can appreciate once again how this kind of education has helped the Church strengthen our commitment to Christ and embolden our character in the world.
In the past many of you put your children through our school and can remember the financial difficulties it presents. But none of you can deny the effects of a Catholic Education on the overall character of a child when parents and teachers work together in forming children every day in the faith.
Our parish school is an attempt by us to form our children in the life of Christ. It is not an elite, exclusive and high-powered institution, but it is a working our school with the catechism, self-discipline and academic excellence as our goal. She will always need our help both financially and spiritually because it is an active missionary presence that we have founded; us, in both parishes, right here and now to offer a solid Catholic education for as reasonable a price as we can. You are invited after Mass today to visit, to see, to listen and to re-appreciate our school.
But now, in our worship of God, we need to allow Him to strengthen us. Help the world be healed of deafness, teach humanity once again to hear the sound of silence without fear and be receptive to the Word of God. You who are the Body of Christ can help others ‘become amazed at the gracious words that came from His mouth,’ and cause others to be healed of the deafness and blindness caused by the noise and the busyness of the world. Don’t be afraid to allow Christ to move in you around you and through you!
How do I do this? Listen for a moment. You can still hear the words: “Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, it is not rude. Love never fails.” These words are nearer to you than your own breath. You know them; you only have to live them, joyfully!