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The Rule of Silence

Last year I read a book by St. Alphonsus de Liguori about the importance of silence. The saint
talked about the great need in our days to practice silence, he says The importance of silence
cannot be stressed enough in our days of frequent distraction and noise, for God does not speak
to us in such things but in silence as a gentle breeze is the Lord heard. There are three things
that St. Aphonsus gives for acquiring the habit of prayer. He says: namely silence, solitude, and
the presence of God. Moving along, he also says that the religious prays little who prays only
when [he] is on [his] knees in the choir or in the cell.
As I said, silence is a rule in the seminary that will perfect the way we pray, because when we
pray we must talk, listen, and respond; we must dialog with God, and this we must do always.
This rule takes the soul to converse continually with God if I were to ask you to describe a
spiritual person, you wouldnt say one who speaks a lot as the saint says, it is rare to find a
spiritual soul that speaks much. Now there are many benefits to draw from silence, for example:
All souls that pray are lovers of silence that is called guardian of innocence, the shield against
temptations, and the fountain of prayer. By silence devotion is preserved, and in silence good
thoughts spring up in the soul. St. Bernard says: Silence and the absence of noise is a certain
manner force the soul to think of God and of eternal goods. We as seminarians have to be aware
that the world is very noisy and that if we dont turn it down it will prevent us from hearing the
voice of God. Silence saves us from a multitude of sins by destroying the root of disputes, of
distractions, of resentments, and of curiosity.
On the other hand when we speak much we release an immense number of evils. St. Alphonsus
says, as devotion is preserved by silence, so it is lost by a multitude of words. There are times
that we ask of you to be silent, especially after Holy Mass and Communion, and one of the
reasons that we ask this, is to prolong that communion. And so this time should be cherished
with much love, because it is very easy to forget about whom we have just received when we
talk about: movies, cars. We must be very watchful of the things we speak because all man
shall have to render account. Jesus said: But I say to you, that every idle word that men shall
speak, they shall account for it in the day of judgment. (Matt. 12:36). St. James has called the
tongue a universal evil: The tongue is . . . a word of iniquity. (James 3:6). The seminarian who
speaks a lot, does so to be noticed, he must find things of which to talk, and therefore seeks to
know what the others are doing and is curious to know other peoples conversations. St. Joseph
Calasanctius used to say that a dissipated religious is a source of joy to the devil, and is also
an obstacle to the advancement of others.
Today is the Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows, and through her intersession let us ask, that she
may teach us to follow all the rules in the seminary, and let us put all our prayers in the silence
of our heats. Let us sing to Our Lady