A state of thoughtfulness

We should not only avoid idle talk [leading to] much laughter, as St Benedict says, but we are also invited to avoid noisy behavior. Our constitution mentions noisy manual work, disturbances during liturgical celebrations, and during the time of rest. Our constitution recommends silence in the church…”Indiscrete turning of the pages, coughing and impolite yawning should be avoided.”

There are many ways of making noise. In my experience, I remember two brothers who left the motor of the tractor running outside of the door of the garage. Sometimes this kind of noise lasted for more than a half hour without reason. Others slam doors, Abbot Delatte, in his commentary on St Benedict’s Rule, tells us that “a nun of the Visitation order asked St Francis de Sales what she should do to reach perfection. The holy bishop, who doubtless know whom he was addressing replied: ‘Sister, I think Our Lord wants you to close doors quietly.’”

Let us try to avoid all unnecessary noise, all impatient and distracting movements in whatever we do.


“Jesus autem tacebat.” “But Jesus was silent.” Jesus was arrested and brought before the Sanhedrin. There He was falsely accused. St Matthew says: “The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for evidence against Jesus, however false, on which they might pass the death sentence.” How did our Lord answer His accusers? St Matthew tells us: “Jesus was silent.”

May the silence of Jesus be our example and our inspiration. Let us follow the silent Master of whom Isaiah foretold: “harshly dealt with, he bore it humbly, he never opened his mouth, like a lamb that is led to the slaughterhouse, never opening its mouth.” –Silence: A Series of Conferences Given by a Camaldolese Hermit


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