Introducing: Silent Radio

I was just on The Catholic Channel, Sirius XM Channel 129, to announce the new radio show I’ll be co-hosting this fall with Steve Bannon. It’s called Silent Radio — how’s that for counterintuitive? The title is inspired by B16’s World Communications Day message this year, where he talked about the importance of silence in communications, of prayer and reflection.

In the message, the pope wrote:

Silence is an integral element of communication; in its absence, words rich in content cannot exist. In silence, we are better able to listen to and understand ourselves; ideas come to birth and acquire depth; we understand with greater clarity what it is we want to say and what we expect from others; and we choose how to express ourselves. By remaining silent we allow the other person to speak, to express him or herself; and we avoid being tied simply to our own words and ideas without them being adequately tested. In this way, space is created for mutual listening, and deeper human relationships become possible. It is often in silence, for example, that we observe the most authentic communication taking place between people who are in love: gestures, facial expressions and body language are signs by which they reveal themselves to each other. Joy, anxiety, and suffering can all be communicated in silence – indeed it provides them with a particularly powerful mode of expression. Silence, then, gives rise to even more active communication, requiring sensitivity and a capacity to listen that often makes manifest the true measure and nature of the relationships involved. When messages and information are plentiful, silence becomes essential if we are to distinguish what is important from what is insignificant or secondary. Deeper reflection helps us to discover the links between events that at first sight seem unconnected, to make evaluations, to analyze messages; this makes it possible to share thoughtful and relevant opinions, giving rise to an authentic body of shared knowledge. For this to happen, it is necessary to develop an appropriate environment, a kind of ‘eco-system’ that maintains a just equilibrium between silence, words, images and sounds.

Your communications are only as good as your soul, is my tweetable summary of it. Keeping a prayerful, reflective silence is key to being in the world and not of it.

And so on Silent Radio, the plan is to take a few steps back and reflect with culture makers, consumers, and critics; to be a healthy contribution to that eco-system that feeds and nourishes a New Evangelization.

Our first show comes up next Saturday in two weeks, as part of a new lineup on the Catholic Channel that runs right before Notre Dame football (with a second chance to listen in on Sunday). Tune in and let me know what you think.

A large part of what we want to do is highlight some of the good in culture that doesn’t always get the coverage it deserves. Feel free to send me your suggestions for under-covered gems.


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