We are surrounded by noise. A constant barrage of demands and expectations to do something, to buy something, to achieve something, to become something different. We are pulled in all sorts of directions, stretched and pressured to respond. For young people it can be overwhelming, struggling to discover their place and to find their voice amidst the noise. In the middle of this confusion and stress, their experience of the world is anything but peaceful.
And I am heartbroken by the continued rise in violent crime, highlighted in recent days by the death of two 17 years olds. They had their whole life ahead of them. This violence, the constant pressure, the noise has to stop. We need to make a change.
Our society desperately needs young people who experience peace. We need young people who realise they are valued, and know that they can have a voice and make a difference. In the midst of the noise and the violence, our young people must be a beacon of hope to their peers. We, older adults, need to stand with them and support them. We can help them be the changemakers.
This season of Lent give us an opportunity to seek peace, by giving up some of the things which fill our lives with distractions. There are many ways to do this in Lent, but I encourage you to consider siLENT from Million Minutes. Young people and adults coming together in solidarity to give up some of the things which fill their world with noise (your phone?) and spending time in silence. By reflecting on ourselves and the world around us, we try and find that inner peace.
This collective silence has its own voice. The silence speaks up for those young people who are overwhelmed by noise and violence. Many people will be sponsored for their silence, raising money for projects that promote peace, and give young people a voice – projects like Safe Haven, from For Jimmy.
I will be staying siLENT in solidarity with all you dear young people and I shall be keeping you all in my prayers.
To see what individuals, parishes, schools and communities are getting up to this siLENT please visit: https://millionminutes.org/silent40.To discover more about creating safe havens visit: http://forjimmy.org/building-safe-havens/
Join siLENT at: https://millionminutes.org/silent
Reflection by our champion Margaret Mizen.