Nicolas Diat: What connection do you make between silence and the sacred?

Cardinal Robert Sarah: The idea of the sacred is particularly misused in the West. In countries that want to be secular – separated from religion and God – there is no longer a link to the sacred.

A certain secular mentality believes it is emancipating itself. Some theologians state that, via the Incarnation, Christ might have brought an end to the distinction between the sacred and the profane. For others, God is so close to us that labelling something as sacred has become outmoded.

As such, some in the Church believe in a “horizontal” pastoral landscape based on socio-political ideals. This behaviour shows a lot of naïvety and perhaps a degree of pride.

In June 2012, in his homily for the feast of Corpus Christi, Pope Benedict XVI solemnly affirmed: “He did not abolish the sacred but brought it to fulfilment, inaugurating a new form of worship, which is indeed fully spiritual but which, however, as long as we are journeying in time, still makes use of signs and rites … Thanks to Christ, the sacred is truer, more intense and, as happens with the Commandments, also more demanding!”

This is a serious question as it deals with our relationship with God. Faced with His greatness, majesty and beauty, how could one not be seized by a joyful and sacred fear? If the transcendental and divine does not make us tremble, it means that even our human nature is ruined.

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