A Moment of Silence and the Baron of Rio Branco
For decades we have established a ceremony involving a moment of silence before saying a prayer, which always begins the daily activities of the Institutions of Good Will (IBVs, in Portuguese), with the intention of strengthening the ties between the solidary teams of the IBVs and the Superior Spirituality. This action has become a daily practice in many companies.
I have already explained the story about the moment of silence in my speeches on radio and television, but I would not mind repeating it here once again. On February 10, 1912, the diplomat, professor and journalist José Maria da Silva Paranhos Junior, the Baron of Rio Branco―one of the greatest Chancellors, if not the greatest, that Brazil has ever known―passed away. He was the son of the Viscount of Rio Branco, the creator of the Septuagenarian Law: at the age of 70 slaves would be freed, however, how many ever reached that age?
The death of Paranhos Junior was much lamented. When the news arrived in Lisbon, the House of Deputies under the command of Aresta Branco suspended its session for half an hour, as was traditional, out of respect for the illustrious diplomat. However, on the next day the Senate, whose President was Anselmo Braamcamp and Secretary was Bernardino Roque e Paes de Almeida, innovated with the custom. The president made a pause at the meeting and emphasized: “The important services that this statesman provided to Portugal and the circumstance of him being a Minister when Brazil recognized the Portuguese republic,” according to the Lisbon Diário de Notícias newspaper, which also registered: “The Baron of Rio Branco also honored the Portuguese traditions of the origin of his family, and for this reason I ask that for ten minutes, as a tribute to his memory, the senators remain silent in their places. And so it was done...”.
It was in deference to the great Brazilian who had returned to the Spiritual World.
The Internal Christ
Given the troubled life that we lead, the argument arises: “It is extremely difficult to obtain a minute of silence, whatsoever, with all the children running around in a happy din, the neighbors with their stereos on loud, the jackhammer being used right in front of my window or the thousand problems that I have to face. I am sorry, but I just cannot do it”.
Yes, you can! I am not speaking restrictively of physical quietness. I am especially referring to the silence sought within the Spirit. Sometimes in a noisy, packed, hot bus, in intense traffic, you find yourself tuning out by thinking about a matter that needs to be resolved. Nothing around disturbs or hinders you. And when you get off the bus you say: “Boy! It seemed impossible to resolve such a problem and now, in that blessed bus, with all that heat around me, the solution appeared”. Why?! Because you entered into silence, dialogued with your internal Christ, with the help of the Holy Spirit.
Everything in material existence is relative. It is enough to see that in wars people kill each other in the presence of extraordinary landscapes that God offers them to light in their hearts the will to live.
Are the kids running around, opening the refrigerator? Is there confusion in the middle of the street? You will know how to find silence within yourself, to intimately feel the divine influence. Take advantage of these moments of meditation to read Jesus’ Gospel, an immense wealth for this and the Other World, and see how many benefits you will receive in your life. But first, let us calm the turbulence of the soul. A minute of silence.
Today, the Temple of Good Will in Brasília is thoroughly recognized as an excellent place for people to quiet their hearts and raise their thoughts to the Highest, thus gaining the strength to forge ahead. The TGW extols the Total Ecumenism*.
*Expression created by the late founder of the LGW, Alziro Zarur (1914-1979). The Total Ecumenism advocates the fraternal alliance of Humanity on Earth with the Superior Spiritual World and any civilization that might exist in Space.
Version: Johann Weber
Revision: Rosana Bertolin