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Discussione: “La forza del silenzio” - La Force du silence - Cardinal Robert Sarah - Nicolas Diat

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    “La forza del silenzio” - La Force du silence - Cardinal Robert Sarah - Nicolas Diat


    “La forza del silenzio”:

    Il cardinale Sarah contro la dittatura del rumore


    Dopo lo straordinario successo del libro-intervista Dieu ou Rien (“Dio o niente”) il cardinale guineano Robert Sarah, prefetto della Congregazione per il culto divino e la disciplina dei sacramenti, torna in libreria con un nuovo saggio intitolato La force du silence. Contre la dictature du bruit (“La forza del silenzio. Contro la dittatura del rumore”), pubblicato a Parigi dall’editore Fayard.

    Il primo libro del cardinale Sarah
    Dieu ou rien (“Dio o niente”, Cantagalli 2015), è stato pubblicato nel febbraio del 2015diventando inaspettatamente un best seller internazionale: 350 mila copie vendute, tradotto in 14 lingue, il libro ha ricevuto numerosi riconoscimenti e premi. Ad intervistare il cardinale è stato il giornalista francese Nicolas Diat, autore di una biografia di Benedetto XVI intitolata “L’homme qui ne voulait pas être pape. Histoire secrète d’un regne” (Albin Michel 2014).

    Nato in Guinea nel 1945, Robert Sarah è stato ordinato sacerdote nel 1969 e nominato vescovo nel 1979 (a 34 anni, fu all’epoca il più giovane vescovo del mondo). Giovanni Paolo II (che lo soprannominò “il vescovo bambino”) lo convocò in Vaticano nel 2001 dove è stato collaboratore di fiducia di tre papi: oltre che del papa polacco, anche di Benedetto XVI e oggi di Francesco che lo ha posto a capo della Congregazione per la Sacra Liturgia.

    La forza del silenzio è destinato a diventare non solo un best seller, un nuovo “caso editoriale”, ma anche un classico della spiritualità contemporanea. Il saggio (375 pagine nell’edizione francese) è il frutto di nuove conversazioni tra il cardinale africano e il giornalista francese ed è suddiviso in cinque grandi capitoli; le risposte del cardinale Sarah sono numerate in modo da offrire al lettore 365 “pensieri” da leggere e meditare anche separatamente dal contesto dell’intervista.

    Parlare del silenzio in un mondo dominato dal chiasso e dal frastuono è una vera sfida, una follia, perché “le potenze mondane che cercano di plasmare l’uomo moderno escludono metodologicamente il silenzio”. Indagare sul silenzio vuol dire avvicinarsi inevitabilmente al mistero di Dio e alla sua presenza silenziosa nella storia. Consapevole di questo, nella postfazione, il cardinale afferma con sincerità: “Devo umilmente riconoscere che ho balbettato di fronte a un così grande mistero. Chi potrebbe parlare del silenzio, e soprattutto di Dio, in una forma adeguata?“. Pertanto, continua il cardinale, “possiamo tentare di parlare di Dio, solo a partire dalla nostra propria esperienza di silenzio. Perché Dio è avvolto nel silenzio e si rivela nel silenzio interiore del nostro cuore“.

    E’ in questa prospettiva che, rispondendo alle domande di Nicholas Diat,Robert Sarah indica nel silenzio e nella solitudine – interiore ed esteriore – una via privilegiata per accedere alle grazie divine e all’amicizia con Dio. In un mondo governato dal rumore e dal caos “è necessario uscire dal tumulto interiore per trovare Dio” perché “la voce di Dio è silenziosa” così come la sua presenza nel mondo. Molte le citazioni bibliche e dei Padri della Chiesa come anche i riferimenti ai classici e ai maestri della spiritualità occidentale ed orientale, dall’Imitazione di Cristo ai mistici come Giovanni della Croce, Teresa di Gesù e Teresa di Lisieux ma anche père Jérôme, père Marie-Eugène, Teresa di Calcutta e Thomas Merton, per citarne alcuni.

    Si tratta di una riflessione profonda e argomentata su un tema tanto lontano dalla sensibilità del mondo contemporaneo quanto urgente. L’uomo ha smarrito il senso del silenzio, non solo nell’ambito religioso ma anche in quello sociale! Il silenzio non ha più diritto di cittadinanza nella società perché “la post-modernità opera un’aggressione permanente contro il silenzio divino”. Anche “nelle stesse scuole è sparito il silenzio. E come poter studiare in mezzo al rumore? Come poter leggere in mezzo al rumore?”. Chi può aiutare l’uomo a tacere mentre “il suo cellulare squilla in continuazione e le sue dita sono sempre occupate ad inviare messaggi?”

    Lo scopo del libro – afferma il cardinale – è “mostrare che il silenzio è uno dei mezzi principali che ci permettono di entrare nello spirito della preghiera.

    Il silenzio ci dispone a stabilire relazioni vitali e continue con Dio”. Un luogo teologico privilegiato dunque, il luogo di incontro tra l’anima e Dio perché: “Il primo linguaggio di Dio è il silenzio”. Preghiera e silenzio sono dunque due realtà inseparabili tant’è – afferma con ironia il cardinale – “è difficile trovare una persona pia che, allo stesso tempo, parli molto” mentre “chi possiede lo spirito di preghiera ama il silenzio”, è per questo che “tutti i santi hanno amato ardentemente il silenzio” mentre “molti peccati sono dovuti alle chiacchiere” e “molte anime si perderanno nel giudizio finale perché non hanno tenuto a bada la loro lingua”.

    Si tratta di un tema affrontato recentemente da papa Francesco nella Costituzione Apostolica Vultum Dei Quaerere sulla vita monastica femminile:“Il silenzio è vuoto di sé stessi per fare spazio all’accoglienza; nel rumore interiore non si può ricevere niente e nessuno. La vostra vita integralmente contemplativa richiede «tempo e capacità di fare silenzio per ascoltare» Dio e il grido dell’umanità“.

    Il libro è dedicato a papa Benedetto XVI “grande amico di Dio e maestro di silenzio e di preghiera”, al cardinale Tchidimbo che fu vescovo di Conakry (Guinea) e vittima di una “sanguinosa dittatura” e infine a “tutti i monaci certosini sconosciuti che cercano Dio da più di mille anni”.

    E proprio a questi monaci, uomini che hanno scelto di abbracciare una vita solitaria e silenziosa per mettersi all’ascolto di Dio, che è dedicata l’apertura e la chiusura di questo percorso letterario e spirituale sul silenzio.

    Miguel Cuartero Samperi

    Miguel Cuartero Samperi. Nato a Roma nel 1982. Figlio di Javier (spagnolo) e Sandra (italiana) è il terzo di nove fratelli. E' cresciuto tra Roma e l'America Latina (Rep. Dominicana, Haiti, Venezuela, Panama, Ecuador), partecipando per diversi anni alla missione dei genitori come catechisti itineranti.

    Ha conseguito il Baccalaureato in filosofia e in teologia presso la Pontificia Università Gregoriana e la Laurea Magistrale in Filosofia presso l'Università Roma Tre con una tesi intitolata "Il primato della coscienza nel pensiero etico-politico di Tommaso Moro". Lavora nella libreria San Paolo di Roma.

    Dal 1° maggio 2013 è felicemente sposato con Anna Maria e assieme hanno accolto con gioia la nascita del primo figlio.

    Per le Edizioni San Paolo ha pubblicato Nostra Signora che scioglie i nodi. Storia di una devozione mariana (2013) tradotto in inglese, spagnolo e polacco.

    Tutto parte infatti un incontro: l’incontro – avvenuto nel 2014 nell’abazia di Lagrasse – tra il cardinale Sarah e frère Vincent-Marie un giovane monaco certosino costretto all’immobilità da una terribile malattia, la sclerosi a placche. Quella tra il cardinale e il monaco (incapace di parlare) fu “un’amicizia nata nel silenzio, cresciuta nel silenzio, che continua ad esistere nel silenzio”. Il 10 aprile 2016, dopo un lungo calvario di dolore e preghiera, il monaco rese l’anima a Dio. Il libro “La forza del silenzio – afferma Diat – non sarebbe mai esistito senza frèreVincent”.

    Senza l’incontro e l’amicizia con frère Vincent non sarebbe stato possibile neanche un’altro incontro
    , col quale si chiude il libro. Il quinto capitolo, intitolato “Come un grido nel deserto”, è riservato a una preziosa conversazione con Dom Dysmas de Lassus, priore generale dell’ordine dei Certosini. Eletto nel novembre del 2014 come 74º successore di San Bruno, dom Dysmas è entrato a vent’anni nella Grande Chartreuse (casa madre dell’ordine, fondata nel 1084 da san Bruno sulle Alpi francesi) e da quella certosa non è mai più uscito. E’ proprio in questo luogo benedetto da Dio che nel 2005 Philip Gröning ha girato il film “Il grande silenzio“.

    E’ qui, nella quiete della certosa più importante e solenne del mondo, che si chiude questo eloquente elogio del silenzio. Un libro che ci interroga sulla nostra vita spirituale e sulla nostra incapacità di fare silenzio attorno e dentro di noi, per ascoltare la voce di Dio che vuole parlare al nostro cuore nel silenzio della nostra coscienza.
    Robert Sarah
    Nicolas Diat



    La Force du silence


    Dans une époque de plus en plus bruyante, alors que la technique et les biens matériels ne cessent d’étendre leur emprise, c’est certainement une gageure que de vouloir écrire un livre consacré au silence. Pourtant, le monde émet tant de bruits que la recherche de quelques gouttes de silence n’en devient que plus nécessaire.

    Pour le cardinal Robert Sarah, à force de repousser le divin, l’homme moderne se retrouve dans un grand silence, une épreuve angoissante et oppressante. Le cardinal veut rappeler que la vie est une relation silencieuse entre le plus intime de l’homme et Dieu. Le silence est indispensable pour l’écoute de la musique de Dieu : la prière naît du silence et y revient sans cesse plus profondément.

    Dans cet entretien avec Nicolas Diat, le cardinal s’interroge : les hommes qui ne connaissent pas le silence peuvent-ils jamais atteindre la vérité, la beauté et l’amour ? La réponse est sans appel : tout ce qui est grand et créateur est formé de silence. Dieu est silence.

    Après le succès international de Dieu ou rien, traduit dans quatorze langues, le cardinal Robert Sarah entreprend de redonner au silence ses lettres de noblesse.

    LE TEXTE EST SUIVI D’UN ENTRETIEN EXCEPTIONNEL AVEC DOM DYSMAS DE LASSUS, PRIEUR À LA GRANDE CHARTREUSE ET MINISTRE GÉNÉRAL DE L’ORDRE DES CHARTREUX

    Né en juin 1945, le cardinal Robert Sarah est une des figures les plus importantes du monde catholique d’aujourd’hui – il est le numéro trois du Vatican.

    Spécialiste reconnu de l’Église, écrivain, Nicolas Diat est l’auteur d’un livre de référence sur le pontificat de Benoît XVI, L’Homme qui ne voulait pas être pape (Albin Michel, 2014).

    Le cardinal Robert Sarah et Nicolas Diat ont publié chez Fayard en 2015 un premier livre, Dieu ou rien. Entretien sur la foi.

    Né en mars 1956, dom Dysmas de Lassus est prieur au monastère de la Grande Chartreuse, et ministre général de l’ordre des Chartreux, fondé par saint Bruno en 1084.
    Entré à la Grande Chartreuse à l’âge de vingt ans, il en fut maître des novices pendant de nombreuses années. Selon la tradition, le prieur ne sort jamais du désert de la Chartreuse.

    Ora pro nobis, sancta Dei génitrix. Ut digni efficiámur promissiónibus Christi.

  2. 5 utenti ringraziano per questo messaggio:

    Athleta Christi (04-10-2016), Fidei Depositum (03-10-2016), Mystica Viola (11-10-2016), Pikachu (02-10-2016), Pivialista (02-10-2016)

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    Dans 10 jours, La force du silence, contre la dictature du bruit, sortira en France.

    Puis, dès la fin de l'année, le livre sera disponible en Italie, en Espagne, au Brésil, aux États-Unis, en Pologne, et en Allemagne .

    #LaForceDuSilence

    https://www.facebook.com/CardinalRobertSarah/
    Ora pro nobis, sancta Dei génitrix. Ut digni efficiámur promissiónibus Christi.

  4. Il seguente utente ringrazia Heribert Clemens per questo messaggio:

    Fidei Depositum (03-10-2016)

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    Première présentation de La force du silence, le jeudi 6 octobre, à Rome.
    Sortie la veille dans toutes les librairies françaises.

    https://www.facebook.com/CardinalRob...type=3&theater
    Ora pro nobis, sancta Dei génitrix. Ut digni efficiámur promissiónibus Christi.

  6. Il seguente utente ringrazia Heribert Clemens per questo messaggio:

    Fidei Depositum (03-10-2016)

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    Cardinal Robert Sarah on "The Strength of Silence" and the Dictatorship of Noise

    Editor's note: The following interview with Robert Cardinal Sarah appeared in the October 2016 issue of the French newspaper La Nef; it was given on the occasion of the publication of his new book La Force du silence (The Strength of Silence: Against the Dictatorship of Noise).The interview appears exclusively here in English by kind permission of Cardinal Sarah. The translation is by Michael J. Miller, who translated Cardinal Sarah's 2015 book God or Nothing (Ignatius Press).

    La Nef: This book that you are offering to your readers is a veritable spiritual meditation on silence: why have you launched into such a profound reflection, which is not usually expected of a Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, who is in charge of dossiers that deal very concretely with the life of the Church?

    Cardinal Robert Sarah: “God’s first language is silence.” In commenting on this beautiful, rich insight of Saint John of the Cross, Thomas Keating, in his work Invitation to Love, writes: “Everything else is a poor translation. In order to understand this language, we must learn to be silent and to rest in God.”

    It is time to rediscover the true order of priorities. It is time to put God back at the center of our concerns, at the center of our actions and of our life: the only place that He should occupy. Thus, our Christian journey will be able to gravitate around this Rock, take shape in the light of the faith and be nourished in prayer, which is a moment of silent, intimate encounter in which a human being stands face to face with God to adore Him and to express his filial love for Him.

    Let us not fool ourselves. This is the truly urgent thing: to rediscover the sense of God. Now the Father allows Himself to be approached only in silence. What the Church needs most today is not an administrative reform, another pastoral program, a structural change. The program already exists: it is the one we have always had, drawn from the Gospel and from living Tradition. It is centered on Christ Himself, whom we must know, love and imitate in order to live in Him and through Him, to transform our world which is being degraded because human beings live as though God did not exist. As a priest, as a pastor, as a Prefect, as a Cardinal, my priority is to say that God alone can satisfy the human heart.

    I think that we are the victims of the superficiality, selfishness and worldly spirit that are spread by our media-driven society. We get lost in struggles for influence, in conflicts between persons, in a narcissistic, vain activism.

    We swell with pride and pretention, prisoners of a will to power. For the sake of titles, professional or ecclesiastical duties, we accept vile compromises. But all that passes away like smoke. In my new book I wanted to invite Christians and people of good will to enter into silence; without it, we are in illusion. The only reality that deserves our attention is God Himself, and God is silent. He waits for our silence to reveal Himself.

    Regaining the sense of silence is therefore a priority, an urgent necessity.
    Silence is more important than any other human work. Because it expresses God. The true revolution comes from silence; it leads us toward God and toward others so that we can place ourselves humbly at their service.

    Why is the idea of silence so essential in your view? Is silence necessary in order to find God, and in what was “is it man’s greatest freedom” (no. 25)? As “freedom”, is silence an ascetical practice?

    Cdl. Sarah:
    Silence is not an idea; it is the path that enables human beings to go to God.

    God is silence, and this divine silence dwells within a human being. By living with the silent God, and in Him, we ourselves become silent. Nothing will more readily make us discover God than this silence inscribed at the heart of our being.
    I am not afraid to state that to be a child of God is to be a child of silence.

    Conquering silence is a battle and a form of asceticism. Yes, it takes courage to free oneself from everything that weighs down our life, because we love nothing so much as appearances, ease and the husk of things. Carried away toward the exterior by his need to say everything, the garrulous man cannot help being far from God, incapable of any profound spiritual activity. In contrast, the silent man is a free man. The world’s chains have no hold on him.
    No dictatorship can do anything against a silent man. You cannot steal a man’s silence from him.

    I think of my predecessor in the See of Conakry in Guinea, Archbishop Raymond-Marie Tchidimbo. He remained in prison for almost nine years, persecuted by the Marxist dictatorship. It was forbidden for him to meet with or speak to anyone. The silence imposed by his jailers became the place of his encounter with God. Mysteriously, his cell became a true “novitiate” and that miserable, sordid little room enabled him to understand somewhat the great silence of Heaven.

    Is it still possible to understand the importance of silence in a world where noise, in all its forms, never ceases? Is this a new situation of “modernity”, with its media, TV, and internet, or has this noise always been a characteristic of the “world”?

    Cdl. Sarah: God is silence, and the devil is noisy. From the beginning, Satan has sought to mask his lies beneath a deceptive, resonant agitation. The Christian owes it to himself not to be of the world. It is up to him to turn away from the noises of the world, from its rumors that run headlong in order to turn better toward what is essential: God.

    Our busy, ultra-technological age has made us even sicker. Noise has become like a drug on which our contemporaries are dependent. With its festive appearance, noise is a whirlwind that avoids looking oneself in the face and confronting the interior emptiness. It is a diabolical lie. The awakening can only be brutal.

    I am not afraid to call on all people of good will to enlist in a form of resistance. What will become of our world if it cannot find oases of silence?


    In the turbulent floods of easy, hollow words, keeping silent assumes the appearance of weakness. In the modern world, the silent man becomes someone who does not know how to defend himself.

    He is a “subhuman” with respect to the self-proclaimed strong man who crushes and drowns the other in the floods of his talk. The silent man is one man too many. This is the deep reason for modern men’s disdain and hatred of silent beings, for their abominable crimes against unborn children, the sick, or persons at the end of life. These human beings are the magnificent prophets of silence. With them, I am not afraid to declare that the priests of modernity, who declare a sort of war on silence, have lost the battle. For we can remain silent in the midst of the biggest hodgepodge, despicable disturbances, in the midst of the din and shouting of those infernal machines that invite us to activism by snatching any transcendent dimension and any interior life away from us.

    Although the interior man seeks silence in order to find God, is God Himself always silent? And how are we to understand what some call “God’s silence” with regard to unspeakably evil tragedies like the Holocaust, the gulags...? More generally, does the existence of evil call into question the “almighty power” of God?

    Cdl. Sarah: Your question leads us into a very deep mystery. At the Grande Chartreuse [Carthusian monastery], we meditated at length on this point with the Prior General, Dom Dysmas de Lassus.

    God does not will evil. Nevertheless, He remains astonishingly silent in the face of our trials. In spite of everything, suffering does not call God’s almighty power into question—far from it; rather, it reveals it to us. I still hear the voice of the child who through his tears asked me, “Why did God not keep my father from being killed?” In His mysterious silence, God manifests Himself in the tear shed by the child and not in the order of the world that would justify that tear. God has His mysterious way of being close to us in our trials. He is intensely present in our trials and sufferings. His strength makes itself silence because it reveals his infinite tact, His loving tenderness for those who suffer. External manifestations are not necessarily the best proofs of closeness. Silence reveals God’s compassion, the fact that He takes part in our sufferings. God does not will evil. And the more monstrous the evil, the clearer it becomes that God in us is the first victim.

    Christ’s victory over death and sin is consummated in the grand silence of the cross. God manifests all His power in this silence that no barbarity will ever be able to sully.
    When I traveled to countries that were going through violent, profound crises, sufferings and tragic miseries, such as Syria, Libya, Haiti, the Philippines after the devastating typhoon, I observed that silent prayer is the last treasure of those who have nothing left. Silence is the last trench where no one can enter, the one room in which to remain at peace, the place where suffering for a moment lays down its weapons. In suffering, let us hide ourselves in the fortress of prayer.

    Then the power of the jailers is no longer important; criminals can destroy everything furiously, but it is impossible for them to break in and enter into the silence, the heart, the conscience of a human being who prays and nestles in God. The beating of a silent heart, hope, faith and trust in God remain unsinkable. Outside, the world may become a field of ruins, but inside our soul, in the deepest silence, God keeps watch. War and the processions of horrors will never get the better of God present in us. When faced with evil and God’s silence, we must always persevere in prayer and cry out silently, saying with faith and love:

    “I looked for you, Jesus!
    I heard you weeping for joy
    at the birth of a child.
    I saw you seeking freedom
    through the bars of a prison.
    I walked close by you
    while you were begging for a piece of bread.
    I heard you howling with sorrow
    when your children were laid low by the bombs.
    I discovered you in the rooms of a hospital,
    subjected to treatments without love.
    Now that I have found you,
    I do not want to lose you again.
    I ask you, please, teach me to love you.”

    With Jesus we bear our sufferings and trials better.

    What role to you assign to silence in our Latin liturgy? Where do you see it, and how do you reconcile silence and participation?

    Cdl. Sarah:
    Before God’s majesty, we lose our words. Who would dare to speak up before the Almighty? Saint John Paul II saw in silence the essence of any attitude of prayer, because this silence, laden with the adored presence, manifests “the humble acceptance of the creature’s limits vis-à-vis the infinite transcendence of a God who unceasingly reveals Himself as a God of love.” To refuse this silence filled with confident awe and adoration is to refuse God the freedom to capture us by His love and His presence. Sacred silence is therefore the place where we can encounter God, because we come to Him with the proper attitude of a human being who trembles and stands at a distance while hoping confidently. We priests must relearn the filial fear of God and the sacral character of our relations with Him. We must relearn to tremble with astonishment before the Holiness of God and the unprecedented grace of our priesthood.

    Silence teaches us a major rule of the spiritual life: familiarity does not foster intimacy; on the contrary, a proper distance is a condition for communion. It is by way of adoration that humanity walks toward love. Sacred silence opens the way to mystical silence, full of loving intimacy. Under the yoke of secular reason, we have forgotten that the sacred and worship are the only entrances to the spiritual life. Therefore I do not hesitate to declare that sacred silence is a cardinal law of all liturgical celebration.

    Indeed, it allows us to enter into participation in the mystery being celebrated. Vatican Council II stresses that silence is a privileged means of promoting the participation of the people of God in the liturgy. The Council Fathers intended to show what true liturgical participation is: entrance into the divine mystery. Under the pretext of making access to God easy, some wanted everything in the liturgy to be immediately intelligible, rational, horizontal and human. But in acting that way, we run the risk of reducing the sacred mystery to good feelings. Under the pretext of pedagogy, some priests indulge in endless commentaries that are flat-footed and mundane.

    Are these pastors afraid that silence in the presence of the Most High might disconcert the faithful? Do they think that the Holy Spirit is incapable of opening hearts to the divine Mysteries by pouring out on them the light of spiritual grace?

    Saint John Paul II warns us: a human being enters into participation in the divine presence “above all by letting himself be educated in an adoring silence, because at the summit of the knowledge and experience of God there is His absolute transcendence.”
    Sacred silence is the good of the faithful, and the clerics must not deprive them of it!
    Silence is the cloth from which our liturgies ought to be cut out. Nothing in them should interrupt the silent atmosphere that is their natural climate.

    Isn’t there a kind of paradox in stating the need for silence in the liturgy while acknowledging that the Eastern liturgies have no moments of silence (no. 259), while they are particularly beautiful, sacred and prayerful?

    Cdl. Sarah:
    Your comment is wise and shows that it is not enough to prescribe “moments of silence” in order for the liturgy to be permeated with sacred silence.

    Silence is an attitude of the soul. It is not a pause between two rituals; it is itself fully a ritual.
    Certainly, the Eastern rites do not foresee times of silence during the Divine Liturgy. Nevertheless, they are intensely acquainted with the apophatic dimension of prayer before a God who is “ineffable, incomprehensible, imperceptible”. The Divine Liturgy is plunged, as it were, into the Mystery.

    It is celebrated behind the iconostas, which for Eastern Christians is the veil that protects the mystery. Among us Latins, silence is a sonic iconostas. Silence is a form of mystagogy; it enables us to enter into the mystery without deflowering it. In the liturgy, the language of the mysteries is silent. Silence does not conceal; it reveals in depth.

    Saint John Paul II teaches us that “mystery continually veils itself, covers itself with silence, in order to avoid constructing an idol in place of God.” I want to declare today that the risk of Christians becoming idolaters is great. Prisoners of the noise of endless human talk, we are not far from constructing a cult according to our own dimensions, a god in our own image. As Cardinal Godfried Danneels remarked, “the chief fault of the Western liturgy, as it is celebrated in practice, is being too talkative.”

    Father Faustin Nyombayré, a Rwandan priest, says that in Africa “superficiality does not spare the liturgy or supposedly religious sessions, from which people return out of breath and perspiring, rather than rested and full of what has been celebrated in order to live and to witness better.” Celebrations sometimes become noisy and exhausting. The liturgy is sick. The most striking symbol of this sickness is the omnipresence of the microphone. It has become so indispensable that people wonder how anyone could have celebrated before it was invented!


    The noise from outside and our own interior noises make us strangers to ourselves. In the midst of noise, a human being cannot help falling into banality: we are superficial in what we say, we utter empty talk, in which we talk and talk again... until we find something to say, a sort of irresponsible “muddle” made up of jokes and words that kill. We are superficial also in what we do: we live in a banal state that is supposedly logical and moral, without finding anything abnormal about it.

    Often we leave our noisy, superficial liturgies without having encountered in them God and the interior peace that He wants to offer us.

    After your conference in London last July, you are returning to the topic of the orientation of the liturgy and wish to see it applied in our churches. Why is this so important to you, and how would you see this change implemented?

    Cdl. Sarah:
    Silence poses the problem of the essence of the liturgy. Now the liturgy is mystical. As long as we approach the liturgy with a noisy heart, it will have a superficial, human appearance. Liturgical silence is a radical and essential disposition; it is a conversion of heart. Now, to be converted, etymologically, is to turn back, to turn toward God. There is no true silence in the liturgy if we are not—with all our heart—turned toward the Lord. We must be converted, turn back to the Lord, in order to look at Him, contemplate His face, and fall at His feet to adore Him. We have an example: Mary Magdalene was able to recognize Jesus on Easter morning because she turned back toward Him: “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” “Haec cum dixisset, conversa est retrorsum et videt Jesus stantem. – Saying this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there” (Jn 20:13-14).

    How can we enter into this interior disposition except by turning physically, all together, priest and faithful, toward the Lord who comes, toward the East symbolized by the apse where the cross is enthroned?

    The outward orientation leads us to the interior orientation that it symbolizes. Since apostolic times, Christians have been familiar with this way of praying. It is not a matter of celebrating with one’s back to the people or facing them, but toward the East, ad Dominum, toward the Lord.

    This way of doing things promotes silence. Indeed, there is less of a temptation for the celebrant to monopolize the conversation. Facing the Lord, he is less tempted to become a professor who gives a lecture during the whole Mass, reducing the altar to a podium centered no longer on the cross but on the microphone! The priest must remember that he is only an instrument in Christ’s hands, that he must be quiet in order to make room for the Word, and that our human words are ridiculous compared to the one Eternal Word.

    I am convinced that priests do not use the same tone of voice when they celebrate facing East. We are so much less tempted to take ourselves for actors, as Pope Francis says!
    Of course, this way of doing things, while legitimate and desirable, must not be imposed as a revolution. I know that in many places preparatory catechesis has enabled the faithful to accept and appreciate the orientation.

    I wish that this question would not become the occasion for an ideological clash of factions! We are talking about our relationship with God.

    As I had the opportunity to say recently, during a private interview with the Holy Father, here I am just making the heartfelt suggestions of a pastor who is concerned about the good of the faithful. I do not intend to set one practice against another. If it is physically not possible to celebrate ad orientem, it is absolutely necessary to put a cross on the altar in plain view, as a point of reference for everyone. Christ on the cross is the Christian East.

    You ardently defend the conciliar Constitution on the liturgy while deploring the fact that it has been implemented so badly. How do you explain in retrospect the last fifty years? Aren’t Church leaders the ones primarily responsible?

    Cdl. Sarah:
    I think that we lack the spirit of faith when we read the conciliar document. Bewitched by what Benedict XVI calls the media Council, we give it an all-too-human reading, looking for ruptures and oppositions where a Catholic heart must strive to find renewal in continuity. More than ever the conciliar teaching contained in Sacrosanctum Concilium must guide us. It is about time to let ourselves be taught by the Council instead of utilizing it to justify our concerns about creativity or to defend our ideologies by utilizing the sacred weapons of the liturgy.

    Just one example: Vatican II admirably described the baptismal priesthood of the laity as the ability to offer ourselves in sacrifice to the Father with Christ so as to become, in Jesus, “holy, pure, spotless Victims”. We have here the theological foundation for genuine participation in the liturgy.

    This spiritual reality ought to be experienced particularly at the Offertory, the moment when the whole Christian people offer themselves, not alongside of Christ but in Him, through His sacrifice that will be accomplished at the consecration. Rereading the Council would enable us to avoid having our offertories disfigured by demonstrations that have more to do with folklore than with the liturgy. A sound hermeneutic of continuity could lead us to restore to a place of honor the ancient Offertory prayers, reread in light of Vatican II.

    You mention “the reform of the reform” which you say you wish for (no. 257): what should this consist of chiefly? Would it involve both forms of the Roman rite or only the Ordinary Form?

    Cdl. Sarah: The liturgy must always be reformed in order to be more faithful to its mystical essence. What is called “reform of the reform” and what we perhaps ought to call “mutual enrichment of the rites”, to adopt an expression from the magisterial teaching of Benedict XVI, is a spiritual necessity. Therefore it concerns both forms of the Roman rite.
    I refuse to waste our time contrasting one liturgy with another, or the rite of Saint Pius V to that of Blessed Paul VI. It is a matter of entering into the great silence of the liturgy; it is necessary to know how to be enriched by all the liturgical forms, Latin or Eastern. Why shouldn’t the Extraordinary Form be open to the improvements produced by the liturgical reform resulting from Vatican II? Why couldn’t the Ordinary Form rediscover the ancient prayers of the Offertory, the prayers at the foot of the altar, or a little silence during some parts of the Canon?

    Without a contemplative spirit, the liturgy will remain an occasion for hateful divisions and ideological clashes, for the public humiliation of the weak by those who claim to hold some authority, whereas it ought to be the place of our unity and our communion in the Lord. Why should we confront and detest each other? On the contrary, the liturgy should make us “all attain to unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.... Thus, by living in the truth of love, we will grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ” (cf. Eph 4:13-15).

    In the current liturgical context of the Latin-rite world, how can we overcome the mistrust that remains between some devotees of the two liturgical forms of the same Roman rite who refuse to celebrate the other form and consider it sometimes with a certain disdain?

    Cdl. Sarah:
    To damage the liturgy is to damage our relationship to God and the expression of our Christian faith. Cardinal Charles Journet declared: “Liturgy and catechesis are the two jaws of the pincers with which the devil wants to steal the faith away from the Christian people and seize the Church so as to crush, annihilate and destroy it definitively. Even today the great dragon is keeping watch on the woman, the Church, ready to devour her child.” Yes, the devil wants us to be opposed to each other at the very heart of the sacrament of unity and fraternal communion. It is time for this mistrust, contempt and suspicion to cease. It is time to rediscover a Catholic heart. It is time to rediscover together the beauty of the liturgy, as the Holy Father Francis recommends to us, for, he says, “the beauty of the liturgy reflects the presence of the glory of our God resplendent in His people who are alive and consoled” (Homily for the Chrism Mass, March 28, 2013).

    What was your exceptional stay at the Grande Chartreuse like?

    Cdl. Sarah: I thank God for having granted me this exceptional grace. And how could I fail to mention all the gratitude in my heart and my boundless thanks to Dom Dymas de Lassus for his very warm welcome? I would also like humbly to ask forgiveness of him for all the trouble that I may have caused during my stay at his monastery. The Grande Chartreuse is God’s house. It lifts us up to God and puts us down facing Him.

    The place offers everything needed to encounter God: the beauty of nature, the austerity of the premises, the silence, the solitude and the liturgy. Even though it is my custom to pray at night, the nocturnal Divine Office of the Grande Chartreuse profoundly impressed me: the darkness was pure, the silence bore a Presence, that of God. The night hid everything from us, isolated us from one another, but it united our voices and our praise, it oriented our hearts, our gaze and our thought so as to look at nothing but God.

    The night is material, delightful and cleansing. Darkness is like a fountain from which we emerge washed, appeased and more intimately united to Christ and to others. Spending a good part of the night in prayer is regenerating. It causes us to be reborn. Here, God truly becomes our Life, our Strength, our Happiness, our All. I feel great admiration for Saint Bruno who, like Elijah, led so many souls to this Mountain of God to hear and see “the still, small voice” and to allow themselves to be called by this voice that says to us: “What are you doing here, Elijah?” (1 Kings 19:11-13).


    Ora pro nobis, sancta Dei génitrix. Ut digni efficiámur promissiónibus Christi.

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    Cardinal Sarah :

    « N'ayons pas peur de faire silence »





    Dom Dysmas de Lassus et le cardinal Robert Sarah à la Grande Chartreuse
    ©DR

    EXCLUSIF MAG – Le cardinal Robert Sarah, dans La Force du silence, se plaît à souligner combien Dieu agit en nous avec puissance, mais sans bruit. Aux antipodes de notre époque bruyante menacée d’impuissance spirituelle.

    Le cardinal Robert Sarah est un original. Au sein de la curie romaine, ce prélat guinéen ne cesse d’étonner par sa manière bien à lui de mettre toujours Dieu au centre. « Dieu ou rien », selon sa belle formule. C’est un cardinal excentrique, car théocentrique. Et pourtant il sait parler au plus grand nombre. Son dernier essai intitulé La Force du silence ne décevra pas.

    L’auteur martèle une vérité immémoriale : le silence et Dieu vont souvent de pair. Il cite le Père Marie-Eugène : « Dieu parle dans le silence et seul le silence paraît pouvoir exprimer Dieu. Aussi, pour retrouver Dieu, où l’homme pourrait-il aller, sinon dans les profondeurs les plus silencieuses de lui-même ? » Voilà la destination étrange et secrète où le cardinal veut conduire le lecteur. Loin des affaires du monde, loin des pressions qui s’exercent au sein même de la Curie. Mais non en dehors de la réalité !

    L’auteur explique combien Dieu agit en vérité, mais sans bruit. À l’image de cette brise légère où le prophète Élie reconnaît sa présence mystérieuse. « Si nous observons les transformations intérieures les plus extraordinaires et les plus éclatantes que Dieu opère en l’homme, nous sommes contraints de constater qu’Il travaille en silence. » On sait que le cardinal Sarah n’est pas muet. On lui reproche même son parler-vrai dans certains milieux ecclésiastiques où le mezza voce est de mise. Cela dit, il sait que le silence est d’or dans l’Église.

    « N’ayons pas peur de faire silence »

    En plusieurs points, le cardinal Sarah fait penser à Benoît XVI, façonné par la tradition bénédictine, vivant en quasi-ermite au Vatican et tellement libre par rapport aux fureurs mondaines qui viennent faire le siège de l’âme. « Nous vivons, écrit le pape émérite, dans une société dans laquelle chaque espace doit être rempli par des activités, souvent nous n’avons pas le temps d’écouter. N’ayons pas peur de faire silence à l’extérieur et au-dedans de nous-mêmes, si nous voulons être capables de percevoir la voix de Dieu. »
    L’actuel préfet de la Congrégation pour le culte divin est lui aussi persuadé que la prière est le vrai moteur du catholicisme.

    Le cardinal Sarah, soixante-dix ans après la parution de La France contre les robots, semble répondre à Georges Bernanos qui dénonçait la civilisation moderne comme « une conspiration universelle contre toute espèce de vie intérieure ». Le but du cardinal n’est évidemment pas de jeter l’anathème sur notre siècle. Mais il entend rappeler que le silence est la condition de vie du croyant. Son biotope. « Les faux prêtres de la modernité, qui déclarent une forme de guerre au silence, ont perdu la bataille. Car nous pouvons rester silencieux au milieu des vacarmes de ces machines qui invitent à l’activisme. »

    Loin du bavardage savant, cette longue méditation ressemble aux Pensées de Pascal. Chaque paragraphe est une perle d’un collier contemplatif invisible. Il fait appel à toute la tradition monastique, en particulier celle issue de saint Bruno. On lira avec intérêt l’échange entre le cardinal Sarah et le supérieur de la Grande Chartreuse.

    « Le silence, dans la vie de l’Église, estime Dom Dysmas, me semble lié à la délicatesse de la voix divine. Pour l’entendre, il faut tendre l’oreille, car le Saint-Esprit ne parle pas fort. »

    Tous ceux qui ont goûté cette petite voix aspirent à l’entendre de nouveau. C’est le cas du cardinal Sarah qui, jeune archevêque de Conakry, avait pris l’habitude de s’isoler : « Je m’étais créé un désert intérieur. Il n’y avait aucune présence humaine. Je vivais dans le jeûne, la prière, simplement nourri par l’eucharistie. » Original, non ?

    Samuel Pruvot

    Ora pro nobis, sancta Dei génitrix. Ut digni efficiámur promissiónibus Christi.

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    Moments inoubliables de la soirée d'hier soir pour le lancement romain de La force du silence.


    Un grand merci à l'Ambassade de France près le Saint-Siège et au Centre culturel Saint-Louis de France.


    #LaForceDuSilence


    Nel link sotto, foto della presentazione:

    https://www.facebook.com/CardinalRob...=page_internal
    Ora pro nobis, sancta Dei génitrix. Ut digni efficiámur promissiónibus Christi.

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    Post

    Aspettiamo quando uscirà in lingua italiana.

  12. #8
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    Avec le cardinal Sarah :

    Primauté de la contemplation


    06 octobre 2016
    Rédigé par Philippe Maxence le dans Éditorial



    Le cardinal Sarah célébrant la messe à Lagrasse. © Nicolas Diat.

    Un an après la publication de Dieu ou rien qui l’a fait connaître du grand public, le cardinal Robert Sarah publie un deuxième ouvrage de ce type.


    À nouveau, il s’agit d’entretiens avec l’écrivain Nicolas Diat, mais aussi, dans un chapitre surpre*nant et qui contient en lui quelque chose d’inédit, d’un livre à trois voix puisque s’y ajoute celle de Dom Dysmas de Lassus, le ministre général du monastère de la Grande Chartreuse, un ordre monastique voué au silence.

    Le silence est justement le thème qui traverse tout ce livre et, en lui-même, il s’agit bien d’un évènement. Quoi de plus humble pourtant qu’un tel sujet ? Quoi de moins actif (au moins, en apparence) que le silence, et donc de plus éloigné des besoins du jour, des causes urgentes, des plans d’action à mettre en œuvre, des décisions à prendre, des avis à donner, des commentaires à apporter, des précisions et ajustements à faire ?


    Oui, répond en quelque sorte l’auteur. Tout cela est certainement important et, même, dans une certaine mesure, vraiment urgent. Mais tout cela sera vain si nous ne retournons pas à la racine de ce qui est nécessaire pour retrouver Dieu et, partant, pour accomplir ensuite tout ce qu’Il attend de nous.

    On trouve là, bien sûr, un écho lointain des vieux débats sur la contemplation et sur l’action, les vertus passives et les vertus actives, le spirituel et le temporel. Mais ces débats anciens s’effectuaient dans le cadre de la chrétienté ou, tout du moins, dans un climat resté chrétien.

    La situation dans laquelle nous sommes plongés nous oblige à un retour beaucoup plus radical. Ici, plus de débats, de précisions théologiques ou de préféren*ces spirituelles. C’est Dieu lui-même qu’il faut retrouver. C’est à Dieu qu’il faut faire à nouveau une place. Où le retrouver ? Dans le silence ! Comment lui faire une place ? En rétablissant le silence !

    Un double mouvement

    Tout au long de ce livre d’entretiens, il est donc constamment souligné que le silence n’est pas simplement une absence de bruit, ou qu’il débouche sur un vide tel que les spiritualités asiatiques le proposent. S’il exige de se taire, de contrôler les mouvements intérieurs de son imagination, le silence obéit à un double mouvement : se mettre en état d’accueillir et permettre à Dieu de se rendre présent à l’âme.

    Un même double mouvement se retrouve dans le titre donné à ce nouveau livre : La force du silence. Contre la dictature du bruit. En lui-même, le silence contient donc quelque chose de positif et d’actif qui lui donne une force singulière. Mais il répond également à une violence permanente à laquelle nous sommes soumis constamment et contre laquelle le cardinal Sarah s’élève avec force.

    Cette « dictature du bruit », mal des sociétés contemporaines selon l’auteur, exige une véritable lutte. « Il est vital, explique ainsi le cardinal, de nous retirer au désert pour combattre la dictature d’un monde rempli d’idoles qui se gave de technique et de biens matériels, un monde dominé et manipulé par les médias, un monde qui fuit Dieu en se réfugiant dans le bruit. » (n. 103) Le programme est tracé et il est tracé clairement. Sans faux-fuyant, sans langue de buis et de contorsion mondaine.

    À ce double mouvement du titre répond l’organisation même des chapitres du livre. Si le silence est abordé d’abord dans son opposition au bruit du monde (« Le silence contre le bruit du monde »), le silence divin est ensuite spécifié (« Dieu ne parle pas, mais sa voix est distincte ») avant que soient caractérisés les liens entre le silence et le sacré (« Le silence, le mystère et le sacré ») ou la place du silence face à ce grand mystère qu’est l’existence du mal (« Le silence de Dieu face au déchaînement du mal ») avant le trilogue qui s’est déroulé à la Grande Chartreuse et qui offre un superbe condensé de la place et du rôle du silence (« Comme un cri dans le désert – La rencontre de la Grande Chartreuse »).


    Devant l’amplitude des thèmes abordés et, par moments, la fermeté du ton, on hésite quelque peu. S’agit-il d’un livre de spiritualité ? D’un livre de combat ? Très clairement, le cardinal Sarah offre au lecteur contemporain un livre de combat spirituel dans lequel il parle avec force et netteté en faveur de l’indispensable et de l’incontournable préalable à toute restauration de l’Église et de la société.

    Une vaste conspiration


    Dans La France contre les robots, livre magnifique et prémonitoire, Bernanos avait déjà tracé l’exact contour de la situation : « On ne comprend rien à la civilisation moderne si l’on n’admet pas d’abord qu’elle est une conspiration universelle contre toute espèce de vie intérieure. »

    Ailleurs, dans le même livre, il précisait : « Dans sa lutte plus ou moins sournoise contre la vie intérieure, la civilisation des machines ne s’inspire, directement du moins, d’aucun plan idéologique, elle défend son principe essentiel, qui est celui de la primauté de l’action ». Et de fait, deux principes essentiels s’opposent et se livrent un combat sans merci au cœur même de l’homme et de la société. D’un côté, le monde moderne qui exalte entièrement la primauté de l’action et de l’autre, le christianisme qui s’appuie sur la primauté de la contemplation.


    À plusieurs reprises, dans un langage viril dont nous avons été déshabitués à l’intérieur de l’Église, le cardinal Sarah souligne les conséquences de cet antagonisme. Par exemple : « le monde moderne transforme celui qui écoute en un être inférieur. Avec une funeste arrogance, la modernité exalte l’homme ivre d’images et de slogans bruyants, tuant l’homme intérieur. » (n. 26) Ailleurs, il écrit : « Dans les prisons lumineuses du monde moderne, l’homme s’éloigne de lui-même et de Dieu. Il est rivé à l’éphémère, de plus en plus loin de l’essentiel. » (n. 45)

    Retour à l’essentiel

    Depuis longtemps, un tel langage nous était devenu inconnu. S’il explique et développe au plan personnel, ecclésial et social l’importance et la nécessité du silence, ce livre entend nous ramener à l’essentiel.

    À Dieu lui-même, qui ne peut se rencontrer dans n’importe quelles conditions, et certainement pas dans une société qui amplifie constamment le bruit pour étouffer l’âme. Il faut le lire et le méditer et cette lecture et cette méditation seront d’autant plus facilitées que les réponses du cardinal Sarah sont numérotées comme autant de pensées dans lesquelles puiser.

    Le silence intérieur, le silence de l’oraison, le silence liturgique, le silence comme écrin de l’âme humaine, sont des biens à reconquérir et non des utopies sur lesquelles disserter. Nous, chrétiens, nous avons ce trésor à nous réapproprier. Un cardinal ouvre la voie ; à nous de creuser le sillon et de le rendre mille fois fécond.

    Réseaux sociaux

    Ora pro nobis, sancta Dei génitrix. Ut digni efficiámur promissiónibus Christi.

  13. #9
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    Le cardinal Sarah :

    écouter Dieu dans le silence


    Le cardinal Robert Sarah vient de publier un nouvel ouvrage. - RV

    08/10/2016


    (RV) Entretien- Après le succès de Dieu ou Rien, le cardinal Robert Sarah, Préfet de la Congrégation pour le Culte Divin et la Discipline des Sacrements, publie un nouveau livre. Intitulé La Force du silence. Contre la dictature du bruit (Ed. Fayard, 2016), ce livre d'entretiens avec Nicolas Diat est consacré au « premier langage de Dieu » selon le cardinal Sarah : le silence.

    Lors de la présentation officielle du livre, le jeudi 6 octobre 2016 à l’Institut français-Centre Saint Louis de Rome, le Cardinal Sarah a raconté les deux événements à l’origine de ce livre. Le premier est sa relation avec Frère Vincent, chanoine de l'abbaye de Lagrasse décédé en avril 2016. Atteint de sclérose en plaques, Frère Vincent ne pouvait plus parler mais les moments passés avec lui ont marqué le Cardinal Sarah. Deuxième événement, ses trois jours passés au monastère de la Grande Chartreuse, où il a pu exceptionnellement entrer et participer aux offices.

    Interrogé par Samuel Bleynie, le cardinal Sarah explique qu’il ne faut pas tant se demander comment remettre le silence au cœur de nos vie que se mettre à écouter Dieu dans le silence.


    Ora pro nobis, sancta Dei génitrix. Ut digni efficiámur promissiónibus Christi.

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    Ora pro nobis, sancta Dei génitrix. Ut digni efficiámur promissiónibus Christi.

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