Some years back I gave my Sophomores the possibility of gaining extra credit if they made the trek from Chestnut Hill to Cambridge to see the movie: "Into Great Silence."They arrived, bought the requisite popcorn and drinks, and settled in. The film began. Ten minutes later they became aware that the only sounds in the theater were their munching popcorn and slurping sodas.After some embarrassment they put the junk food away and began to listen. They heard drips of water, birds chirping, tools hitting hard ground, monks laughing while sliding in the snow.Our spiritual senses have been atrophied by over-indulgence. We fail to perceive that often silence speaks powerfully, and absence is suffused with presence.Blessed Feast of the Ascension.