The Rule of Benedict, chapter 6:
silence is so important that permission to speak should rarely be granted even to disciples who have made much spiritual progress, however good and holy and constructive their words might be. (p. 22, trans. White)
I feel that my review of the film Into Great Silence, about Carthusians (who are not Benedictine) is all we need hear.
Or the title of Cardinal Sarah’s book The Power of Silence: Against the Dictatorship of Noise.
Some quick thoughts on us, anyway. I don’t know if any of you watched that reality show The Monastery, but the hardest part the participants had was setting aside their gadgets and being silent for so much of the day. This is our chattering culture — radio, iPods, TV, Netflix, idle conversations ‘around the water cooler’, traffic, sirens. Noise. Noise.
C. S. Lewis complained of how distracting the radio was — imagine how much worse it was today!
Noise distracts us and sets our attention anywhere but on the inner person.