Friday, June 10, 2011

Authentic silence

Here is one of the sayings of the Desert Fathers and Mothers from early Christian monasticism. What I really like about this one is that it reveals the futility of trying to make interior progress by slavishly following rules or by interpreting instructions too literally. The intention of the heart matters much more than overt ways of evaluating how we are advancing:

A person may seem to be silent, but if his heart is condemning others, he is babbling ceaselessly. But there may be another who talks from morning till night and yet he is truly silent, that is, he says nothing that is not profitable.

-- Abba Pimen

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