Abundance of Words
During 2021, we have been exposed not only to viruses and variants
that we have breathed in but also to an Abundance of Words that we have breathed out.
We have witnessed a lot of words being breathed out this year, haven’t we?
Where these words more Precious than Peacefulness and Stillness, I wonder?An expert from one of my beloved holy books of human religions might inspire you.
Excerpt From: Climacus John. “The Ladder of Divine Ascent”
Step 11 – On Loquaciousness and Stillness
Gregariousness is the throne of pride, which delights itself in showing
To be talkative is a mark of ignorance, a gateway to slander, a leader to
joking, a slave of untruth, the destruction of remorse, the author of depression, the forerunner of sleep, the dissolution of memory, the ruin of vigil, the cooling of zeal, the dimming of prayer.
Intentional stillness is the mother of prayer, a calling back from imprisonment, a preservation of fire, a director of the mind, a vigil against enemies, a jail of sorrow, a companion of teardrops, a powerful remembrance of death, an artist of correction, a busybody with judgment, an assistant to distress, an enemy of freedom to speak, a friend of quietness, an enemy of the desire to instruction, an increase
of understanding, an author of meditation, secret progress, unseen
The one who has become mindful of his vices has mastered his
tongue, but a gregarious person has not yet understood himself as he should.
The companion of stillness draws close to God, and by speaking with Him privately, he is enlightened by God.
Jesus’ silence made a disgrace of Pilate, and through a man’s silence,
pride is overcome.
When Peter spoke a word, he grieved bitterly, because he forgot the
one who said, “I said, I will be mindful of my ways that with my tongue I do not sin.”
Also the other who said, “A fall from on high to the earth is better than
a trip of the tongue.”
I have no desire to write many things on this topic, even though the
trickery of the passion would like me to do so.
But once, I heard from someone who questioned me about stillness. I
told him that chattiness is certainly the offspring of either a poor, lazy
setting and habit (because the tongue requires discipline like the rest of the body), or, especially in the case of ascetics, chattiness is rooted in pride, and at times gluttony.
This is the reason why many who check the stomach through violence are able to easily bridle the tongue and its loose lips.
The one who is concerned with his own death, reduces his use of
words. And the one who has received spiritual grief, avoids chattiness
The one who has fallen in love with stillness keeps his mouth shut, but the one that enjoys roaming about is pushed out of his cell by this passion.
The one who understands the aroma of fire from up high, flees from conversation with men like a honeybee from smoke. For the bee is driven back by smoke, while a man is delayed by company.
There are few who can hold water without a bucket and still fewer who can control an unrestrained tongue.
The one who has conquered it has smitten a variety of evils.