The Rule of St. Benedict, Chapter 6

Rule of St. Benedict, Chapter 6:

1 Let us follow the Prophet’s counsel: I said, I have resolved to keep watch over my ways that I may never sin with my tongue. I was silent and was humbled, and I refrained even from good words (Ps 38[39]:2-3).

2 Here the Prophet indicates that there are times when good words are to be left unsaid out of esteem for silence. For all the more reason, then, should evil speech be curbed so that punishment for sin may be avoided.

3 Indeed, so important is silence that permission to speak should seldom be granted even to mature disciples, no matter how good or holy or constructive their talk,

4 because it is written: In a flood of words you will not avoid sin (Prov 10:19);

5 and elsewhere, The tongue holds the key to life and death (Prov 18:21).

6 Speaking and teaching are the master’s task; the disciple is to be silent and listen.

7 Therefore, any requests to a superior should be made with all humility and respectful submission.

8 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.

In other words, clean up your own house before you start pointing fingers at others.

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