Richard Rohr was selected as one of a small group of "world-renowned experts on contemplative practice and compassion" to speak at "Sacred Silence: Pathway to Compassion," an event in Louisville, Kentucky in mid-May 2013, that featured His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The Franciscan friar served as the principal Christian presence--others represented Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism--to speak on the search for God in contemplation, which leads to action that benefits humanity. His role as the founding director of the Center for Action and Contemplation made him a fitting and powerful speaker on the subject.
In "Silent Compassion: Richard Rohr at the Festival of Faiths," Rohr focuses on finding God in the depths of silence, and shares that the divine silence is more than the absence of noise. That silence has a life of its own, in which we are invited into its living presence, wholeness of being, and peace it brings. This silence can absorb paradoxes, contradictions, and the challenges of life, he says, connecting us with the great chain of being. Rohr adds that while different faiths use different languages and different words, all major religions have come at the mystery of God as a dynamic flow--God as communion, God as relationships. Silence then becomes that common place for all.
This DVD inspired the Franciscan Media book, "Silent Compassion: Finding God in Contemplation" and features the main presentations made by Rohr at the "Sacred Silence: Pathway to Compassion" event, his contribution to the dialogue with representatives from major faith traditions, his address to the Dalai Lama as well as exclusive conversations with Rohr plumbing the depths of his thoughts on how silence can be a remedy for much of what ails us as persons and in society and culture today.