Flickr/Jamie McCaffrey / Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Silent night indeed

  • December 19, 2014

Few Christmas hymns are more admired than “Silent Night.” The lyrics were penned by a young German priest in 1816 and a schoolteacher added the melody two years later. Together these amateur musicians wrote a simple yet powerful song that lovingly depicts the peace and joy of the holy mother and her new child.

Perhaps the song’s enduring appeal is due to its serenity. There is not enough calm in today’s world. Not enough silence. One of the beauties of Christmas is that it lets us reclaim some quiet time, to join with family — like the blessed mother and child — in a retreat from our busy lives to a place of worship and peace. “Silent Night” takes us melodically there.

Pope Francis urges us to seek silence at this time of year. “Christmas seems like a noisy feast,” he said, but “it would do us good to have a little silence” to better hear the Christmas message. So that is The Register’s first prayer for Christmas: that we all find silence amid the bustle to prayerfully receive the joy and blessings of Christmas.

At Christmas we also pray for:
o Appreciation and support for the faithful mission of nuns and brothers during difficult times as the Church embarks on the Year of Consecrated Life.
o Quiet days for Canadian military stationed abroad and comfort for their families at home.
o An end to the ISIS campaign in Syria and Iraq that has inflicted untold pain on nations that have already endured unimaginable suffering.
o Warm beds, hot meals and, eventually, safe homes for the millions of refugees around the world who have fled conflicts and famine.
o Success for the leaders of the world’s major religions who, along with Pope Francis, recently joined forces to help eradicate human trafficking and slavery by 2020, and justice for some 36 million people, largely women and children, who are victims of some form of slavery.
o Sound judgment for politicians and jurists in 2015 so they may resist a cultural movement calling for the adoption of euthanasia and assisted suicide in Canada.
o Food for the 850 million people in the world who go hungry every day.
o Wisdom for the bishops who will attend the General Synod on the family in October as the Pope continues to address the complex issue in the modern age of providing pastoral care to families.
o Respect and civility towards the Christian voices which take their legitimate place in the public square to debate the important social issues of our times.
o Silent days and silent nights throughout the Middle East, particularly in Bethlehem at Christmas.

Finally, peace and joy of the season, and a Merry Christmas, to all our readers.

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