Pope Benedict on Wednesday said that “silence” is what best promotes meditation and listening to God. He was speaking during his weekly general audience at the Papal Summer Residence in Castel Gandolfo.
The Holy Father said monastic groups, and others who have devoted their lives to prayer, have established communities in secluded places, like the countryside, hills, valleys, mountains, or along waterfronts – even on islands – which combines silence with the beauty of creation, which is also important for the contemplative life.
He spoke in particular of St. Claire of Assisi, whose feast is observed on Thursday. She and her companions took possession of the Church of San Damiano, situated on the hillside below the town of Assisi, which had been restored by St. Francis.
Pope Benedict said the silence and the beauty of the place where a monastic community lives are a reflection of the spiritual harmony they seek to achieve.
He said the world is dotted with these oases of the spirit, and called them the spiritual backbone of the world. He said this is why so many people, especially during their holidays, visit these places, since “the soul also has its own needs”.