Was the Pope’s silence a sign?
Much, of course, can be made of nothing. But, in this case, that’s the point.
One of the first acts of the new Pope Francis was to invite the crowd gathered in Saint Peter’s square to silence, and prayer.
Monks are more known for their silence, and Jesuits for their bluster. Yet, truth be told, if there was one moment where the new Pope’s Jesuit-ness shone through the most, it was this one. In Saint Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises, one retreats from the noise of the world to encounter Jesus in silence.
We live in a world of ever-increasing noise, and information overload. If we are to deepen our spiritual lives then, we need silence more than ever. And so the Jesuit Francis may have given us a sign, and an invitation, by his early silence.
True, the new Pope might still go on Tweeting. But I suspect he might also, as Saint Ignatius would, urge us to unplug and go retreating, meeting God in prayer, and silence.