The Power of Silence: Against the Dictatorship of Noise

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9781621641919: The Power of Silence: Against the Dictatorship of Noise
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Now with a new afterword by Pope emeritus Benedict XVI!

In a time when there is more and more noise, and technology and materialism continue to exert their hold on us, Cardinal Robert Sarah presents a bold book about the strength of silence. The world generates so much noise that seeking moments of silence only becomes more necessary. For Cardinal Sarah, modern man, in repressing the divine, finds himself in a deep dilemma, an oppressive and anguishing trial. The Cardinal recalls that life is a silent relationship between what is most intimate in man and God. Silence is indispensable for hearing the music of God: prayer arises from silence and returns to silence with ever greater depth.

In this long and profound conversation with Nicolas Diat, done within the hallowed walls of silence in the famous Carthusian monastery of La Grande Chartreux in France, the Cardinal proposes the question: can those who do not know silence ever attain truth, beauty, love? The response is undeniable: all that is great and creative is formed by silence. God is silence.

After the great international success of God or Nothing, translated into fourteen languages, Cardinal Sarah seeks to restore to silence its place of honor and importance. "Although speech characterizes man, silence is what defines him, because speech acquires sense only in terms of this silence." This is the beautiful and significant message of The Power of Silence.

In this book, Cardinal Sarah has only one aim, which is summed up in this thought from his book: "Silence is difficult but it makes a human being able to allow himself to be led by God. Silence is born of silence. Through God the silent one we can gain access to silence. And a human being is unceasingly surprised by the light that bursts forth then. Silence is more important than any other human work. For it expresses God. The true revolution comes from silence; it leads us toward God and others so as to place ourselves humbly and generously at their service."

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About the Author:

Robert Cardinal Sarah was born in Guinea, West Africa. Made an Archbishop by Pope John Paul II and a Cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI, he was named the Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments by Pope Francis in 2014.

Nicolas Diat is a French journalist and author. His previous collaboration with Cardinal Sarah was on his book, God or Nothing.

Review:

"This book shows Cardinal Sarah to be one of the most spiritually alert churchmen of our time."
-- Bishop Robert Barron, Creator and Host, Catholicism film series


"Cardinal Robert Sarah's profound exploration of the silence in which we hear the still, quiet voice of God, and thus come to know the truth about ourselves, is a powerful challenge to the cacophony of our times and a summons to a more Gospel-centered way of life."
-- George Weigel, Distinguished Senior Fellow and William E. Simon Chair in Catholic Studies, Ethics and Public Policy Center


"Cardinal Sarah provides an incomparable help to contemporary man, so that he may practice the silence which is necessary to hear the voice of God and so to know himself and the world in their deepest truth, beauty, and goodness."
-- Cardinal Raymond Burke, Author, Hope for the World


"Noise, as C.S. Lewis' devil Screwtape famously said, is the music of hell. Cardinal Sarah offers us a richly engaging, elegantly written reflection on the importance of recovering silence in our own lives, and through silence, rediscovering the presence of God, the beauty of creation, and the nature of our mission as disciples."
--Most Rev. Charles Chaput, Archbishop of Philadelphia



"Cardinal Robert Sarah has once again powerfully spoken a message desperately needing to be heard in our contemporary society. I pray that many will read this treasure chest of wisdom."
-- Most Rev. Salvatore Cordileone, Archbishop of San Francisco


"It is impossible to exaggerate the importance of this profound, uniquely beautiful book."
-- Michael D. O'Brien, Author, Father Elijah: An Apocalypse


"Africa produces the most passionate Catholics, and the happiest people, even in terrible external circumstances. Here is a book by an African cardinal about a simple but profound mine shaft to deep happiness."
-- Peter Kreeft, Ph.D., Professor of Philosophy, Boston College


"Cardinal Sarah offers profound insights into the importance of silence, a topic that needs to be addressed in the Church today."
--Fr. Donald Calloway, Author, Champions of the Rosary: The History and Heroes of a Spiritual Weapon



"The jewel of contemplative life never hides for long. In this remarkable interview, Cardinal Sarah, the great contemplative prefect in Rome, provides a treasure trove of profound commentary on the sacredness of silence for the pursuit of a serious spiritual life in a world dominated by the dictatorship of noise."
—Fr. Donald Haggerty, Author, The Contemplative Hunger


"More people in the Western world are isolated, lonely, and restless, not knowing how to conquer their personal demons. This long interview on silence—not self-absorption, not absence—between Nicolas Diat and Cardinal Sarah takes us in the opposite direction to quiet, peace, and God, offering hundreds of quotations from across three thousand years.

Carthusian silence is not an option for most of us, but busy people also need to be silent and know God, who is not in the earthquake, the storm, or modern noise.

This book is not for the faint-hearted, but it helps explain why Cardinal Sarah is one of the most courageous and prophetic figures on the College of Cardinals."
— George Cardinal Pell, Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy


"In his latest book, The Power of Silence, Cardinal Sarah demonstrates a truly profound and insightful understanding of the current state of the human condition.  With a clarity and directness that is refreshing, His Eminence points out how it is nearly impossible to encounter God in the "hell of noise" which characterizes our modern experience.  So many of the problems and the hopelessness that envelope us are related back to the fact that modern man makes no space for God.  This book is a must read for anyone interested in bringing God back into our lives and our culture."
--Most Rev. Alexander K. Sample, Archbishop of Portland

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