Community on retreat 22-30 July. Services open; shop closed.

Let us do as saith the prophet…

Let us do as saith the prophet: I said, I will take heed unto my ways, that I offend not with my tongue. I have set a guard to my mouth. I was dumb and was humbled, and kept silence even from good words.1 Here the prophet shows that if we ought at times to refrain from good words for the sake of silence, how much more ought we to abandon evil talk because of the penalties of sin. Therefore, on account of the great value of silence, let leave to speak be seldom granted to observant disciples, even though it be for good, holy, and edifying conversations; for it is written: In much speaking thou shalt not escape sin;2 and elsewhere: Death and life are in the power of the tongue.3 For it becometh the master to speak and to teach; but it befits the disciple to be silent and to listen.

And therefore, if there be anything to be asked from the superior, let it be sought with all humility and reverent submission. But as for buffoonery and talk that is vain and stirs laughter, we condemn such things everywhere with a perpetual ban, and forbid the disciple to open his mouth for such conversation.

1Ps xxxviii, 2, 3
2Prov x, 19
3Ibid xviii, 21