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Pope says God can be heard in silence

Holidaying amid the forests and summits of the Alps, Pope John Paul II has stressed the need for silence as the ambience in which to encounter God.

Zenit reports taht this was the message that a slightly tanned Pope gave to the 5000 pilgrims who met and prayed the Angelus with him on Sunday in the village of Les Combes, in Valle d'Aosta, where he is spending a 12-day holiday.

"In this oasis of quiet, before the wonderful spectacle of nature, one easily experiences how profitable silence is, a good that today is ever more rare," the Holy Father said.

"The many opportunities of relation and information that modern society offers sometimes run the risk of robbing time for recollection, to the point of rendering persons incapable of reflecting and praying," he added.

"In reality, only in silence does man succeed in hearing in the depth of his conscience the voice of God, which really makes him free," the Pope said.

"And vacations can help to rediscover and cultivate this indispensable interior dimension of human life," John Paul II explained from the mountainous locality situated some 1500 meters above sea level.

The Pope spoke with a clearer voice than usual. In his message, he addressed with "special affection" the "sick and those who are experiencing great difficulties and hardships," to express his spiritual closeness to them.

Silence Is Realm in Which One Can Hear God, Says Pope (Zenit 11/7/04)

Slow down and think, Pope tells world (Dawn 12/7/04)
Pope rejoices in Alpine quiet (Catholic World News 12/7/04)
Pope is not writing any document or book during his vacations (Catholic News Agency 12/7/04)
Holidays as a time to rediscover silence and the voice of God ( 11/7/04)
Bishop to hold mass on the beach ( 12/7/04)

13 Jul 2004