Oct 11, 2021
Silence, in its primary stage, is avoiding the mistakes of the tongue.
As the Book says, "In the multitude of words, sin is not lacking." (Prov. 10:19).
"Many a time I have spoken and regretted it” says St. Arsanius, “but as for my silence, never did I regret it."
Silence, from another point, is leaving aside human effort, giving God a chance to work. As the Bible says, "Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord." (Exo. 14:13).
And, "The Lord will fight for you and you shall hold your peace." (Exo. 14:14).
Silence is sometimes a kind of composure and not to revenge for oneself or repay evil for evil.
The Lord Jesus Christ was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth, (Is. 53:7).
And during His trial, He was silent both when He faced the Sanhedrin, Annanias, Caiaphas and Pilate.
There was power in His silence to the extent that Pilate, the governor said, "I have no fault in this just Man.” (Luke 23:14). Silence also gives a chance for prayer and contemplation.
The one who talks much never gets a chance to pray and does not have the capacity for interior spiritual work.
One of the saints was right in saying, "The one who talks much proves that he is empty inside," which means void of interior spiritual work.
When St. Arsanius was asked about his silence and isolation he replied, "I cannot be with God and with people at the same time."
What a beautiful saying is that of St. John saba "Silence your tongue to let your heart speak and silence your heart to let God speak."
Silence covers many types, such as: silence of the tongue and silence of the senses, because if the senses were occupied without the control of man, they would bring thoughts that would hinder him from prayer and contemplation.
The one who wants to be silent in a spiritual manner, has to guard his sight, hearing and the rest of his senses.
Silence teaches one to be serious and quiet.
It keeps him far from clamour, uproar and noise.
It also avoids him mixing with many ideas that could distract the thought making it hard to be recollected at time of prayer.
Silence also goes with being alone, without too much mixing with others.
Pope Shenouda III