Help Now >
FREE Catholic Classes
All writers on the spiritual life uniformly recommend, nay, command under penalty of total failure, the practice of silence. And yet, despite this there is perhaps no rule for spiritual advancement more inveighed against, by those who have not even mastered its rudiments, than that of silence. Even under the old Dispensation its value was known, taught, and practised. Holy Scripture warns us of the perils of the tongue, as "Death and life are in the power of the tongue" ( Proverbs 18:21 ). Nor is this advice less insisted on in the New Testament ; witness : "If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man " (St. James 3:2 sq.). The same doctrine is inculcated in innumerable other places of the inspired writings. The pagans themselves understood the dangers arising from unguarded speech. Pythagoras imposed a strict rule of silence on his disciples ; the vestal virgins also were bound to severe silence for long years. Many similar examples could be quoted.
Silence may be viewed from a threefold standpoint:
- As an aid to the practice of good , for we keep silence with man, in order the better to speak with God, because an unguarded tongue dissipates the soul, rendering the mind almost, if not quite, incapable of prayer. The mere abstaining from speech, without this purpose, would be that "idle silence" which St. Ambrose so strongly condemns.
- As a preventative of evil . Senica, quoted by Thomas à Kempis complains that "As often as I have been amongst men, I have returned less a man" (Imitation, Book I, c. 20).
- The practice of silence involves much self-denial and restraint, and is therefore a wholesome penance , and as such is needed by all.
Join the Movement
When you sign up below, you don't just join an email list - you're joining an entire movement for Free world class Catholic education.
Mysteries of the Rosary
Unfailing Prayer to St. Anthony
Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Saint of the Day for Tuesday, July 5th, 2022
St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria
7 Morning Prayers you need to get your day started with God
The Apostles' Creed
St. Maria Goretti
- Daily Readings for Tuesday, July 05, 2022
- St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria: Saint of the Day for Tuesday, July 05, 2022
- A Prayer for those who are preparing Children for their First Holy Communion: Prayer of the Day for Tuesday, July 05, 2022
- Daily Readings for Monday, July 04, 2022
- St. Elizabeth of Portugal: Saint of the Day for Monday, July 04, 2022
- Consecration of America: Prayer of the Day for Monday, July 04, 2022
Help Now >
Copyright 2021 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2021 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.
Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.