Life is a journey; the choices you make now will determine your eternal destination.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

My Journey, Continued

Several things lately have me contemplating the value and desirability of silence. As a child, I remember my dad saying, "you don't learn anything when you are speaking!" Aside from teachers, who must speak that we may learn, many of us talk too much. In my reading of The Imitation of Mary, (who is only quoted four times in the Bible and is a perfect example to follow), there is a chapter on silence. Here Mary is speaking:

My child, my silence itself speaks to you, and all devout souls understand its language well.
We should speak only when circumstances or the glory of God or love for our neighbor requires it. Apart from these cases it is better to be silent. In silence we find the spirit of recollection and the grace of God which is its source. We learn that to be recollected and interior people we must speak but little, and then to say what the Spirit tells us in our heart we ought to say.
Readiness to speak too much is the sign of a distracted heart and mind, and such distraction is already a great evil.
Sentiments of piety easily vanish in the course of conversation; silence on the contrary preserves and strengthens them.
You will find few people who repent of having kept silence, but many who regret having said too much.
The wise man speaks only when the right moment comes (Sir 20:6), that is, when silence would be wrong or unfitting.
The man who cannot guard his tongue is like a city whose walls are broken down (Prov 25:28), exposed on all sides to the surprise attacks of the enemy.
Wherever many words are spoken, sin is not lacking (Prov 10:19). The man who speaks less is always the more prudent.
Constant experience tells us that where there is greater silence, there is greater innocence. Remember the principle that it is always better to remain silent when there is no need to speak. It is a great art to be able deliberately to speak or remain silent, and men can be quite expert in everything else but ignorant here. Grace gives us better instruction than all the teachings of man.
My child, the less you speak to creatures, the more God will speak to your heart. Think of the countless useless things that ordinarily are the subject of the world's conversation as being an obstacle to the holy relationship God wishes to have with you. Above all, say little to men about your afflictions and difficulties, for they are not as interested in them as you may think. Rather, speak much of them to God Who is always ready to console you. If your crosses have been caused by men, do not tell them to anyone unnecessarily. You will often have cause for regret if you say too much.


Michele said...

that's right shirley, one often does have cause for regret if one says to much. very true. very good post thanks.

Shirley said...

Please note that I don't publish comments that are to direct readers to the blog of the commenter.
Since I may not have time to thoroughly check each blog, I can't recommend them to my readers, and so I don't publish those comments. However, if a person wants to make a point or engage in discussion about the subject of one of my posts, I'd be happy to publish their comments.