Thursday, June 17, 2010

Spiritual Guidance: On Guarding Our Speech

Photo of a very silent forest on Molokai

In his book Spiritual Combat, Father Lorenzo Scupoli writes in detail on controlling one's speech. From the beginning of time, it is that small part of the body that causes the greatest harm when ill used. I have made a sort of Do's and Don't List from the counsel given by Dom Scupoli:

- Do not engage in lengthy conversation.

- Do not speak loudly.

- Do not speak in a dictatorial manner.

- Do not speak of yourself or of your doings.

- Do not speak of your family (unless it is absolutely necessary).

- DO speak of God, especially of His love and goodness.

Better still,

- DO listen to others speak of Him.

- DO ponder well in your heart, the thoughts that enter into your mind, BEFORE speaking.

- DO think frequently about the evils and dangers of talkativeness.

- Do keep silence even when you may lawfully speak. ("provided that no prejudice arises from it to your neighbor or to yourself.)

On Silence:

- it is a safe stronghold in the spiritual battle and a sure pledge of victory.

- it is a friend of him who distrusts self and trusts in God.

- it is the guardian of the spirit of prayer and a wonderful help in the attainment of virtues.

"...to keep aloof from conversation will be more helpful, because, instead of men, you will have for your companions the angels, the saints, and God Himself..."

Spiritual Combat available at Sophia Press.

6 comments:

John Michael said...

Esther,

I will keep this brief. :) Excellent post.

JMJ

John Michael said...

Esther,

Just wanted you to know that we are expecting our fifth child on the feast of Sts. Cosmas and Damian. Your little island saint has inspired us a great deal. So much so that we are naming our boy after him, Robert Damien.

Your prayers are always greatly welcomed.

God bless you and your apostolate.

John Quinn

Esther G. said...

Congratulations JM. What a beautiful name.
God bless you and your growing family. Your family will be in my prayers.

Esther G. said...

BTW, thanks John!

Mimi said...

I often think of the saint's saying (and which one, I confess, I don't remember) that goes something like, "I am rarely sorry for having not said something"

Esther G. said...

What a good quote Mimi!