CHAPTER 7 - Humility - The Ninth Step

The ninth step of humility is that we control our tongues and remain silent, not speaking unless asked a question, for scripture warns, “In a flood of words you will not avoid sinning (Prv. 10:10:19),” and, “A talkative person goes about aimlessly on earth (Ps 140:12). (RB 7:56-58)

Do I talk so much that I cannot hear? Am I only interested in getting my points across to others? Conversation can lead to openness, to learning, and to growth; or it can become a way of dominating or an excuse for putting off action. The spiritual journey that Benedict describes is not advocating absolute silence; he hopes that speech will be offered for good teaching, sound advice and positive affirmation. Benedict reverences silence as a way of being attentive to the Word of God.