O Lord my God, I cried out to you, *
and you restored me to health.
We absolutely condemn in all places any vulgarity and gossip and talk leading to laughter, and we do not permit a disciple to engage in words of that kind.
Benedict's Rule 5:8 (Chittister, Pg. 73)
The goal of monastic silence, and monastic speech, is respect for others, a sense of place, a spirit of peace. The Rule does not call for absolute silence; it calls for thoughtful talk.Silence and Talking: I read this and know I still have a long path ahead of me. Experience shows me the results are better when I listen and share than when I simply run my ideas over everyone else. Often someone else has thoughts on the same subject. Sharing and working together we arrive at a clearer, more complete response. To do this I must be silent (at lest for a time).
Chittister, Pg. 74
This sounds great when working with others, but how does this help in my spiritual life, my becoming more the person God calls me to be? Again, I simply need to get out of my own way. I need to become quiet. To listen. Got will communicate, once in a while directly, far more often through the world around me. But, if I am busy talking, I am unlikely to hear any communication from God.
A Note To Anyone Reading:This entry is part of a series that is developing as I read The Rule of Benedict, A Spirituality for the 21st Century, Joan Chittister, OSB, Crossroads, 2010. I am offering this both to those at St. George's Episcopal Church, Arlington VA, that may be reading Ms. Chittister's book and to anyone that is interested.
Unless stated otherwise quotes from St. Benedict's Rule from the translation in this same book.
Psalms are from The Book of Common Prayer, The Episcopal Church, 1979 unless otherwise noted.
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