Every once in a while, a film will shatter me to the core, consume my thoughts with images and questions. The movie SILENCE is one of those. Based on the book of the same title by Shusaku Endo, it is a story about the obliteration of the Jesuit missionaries and Christians in Japan in the 1600’s. Underneath this highly complex situation is the basic spiritual question: Why is God silent when atrocities occur? This movie may shock the sensitive for there are many scenes of violence and suffering. However, the experience of courageous faith provides the balance. The young priest in the film pleads with God to break the silence, to show him what to do when he is forced to choose between two evil alternatives. The answer comes, but only after he is able to sink deeply into the silence of love beyond happy endings, easy answers and good feelings. As I navigate the waters of our troubled world today, this film inspires me to begin and end my prayers with silence, trusting in the paradoxical fullness of God’s divine presence.