Silence is Enough

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From the Wisdom of the Desert Fathers

A brother asked an old man, ‘If a brother tells me irrelevant things, do you advise me, abba, to ask him not to do so?’ The old man said he did not. Then the brother asked why, and the old man said, ‘Because we are not able to do this ourselves [refrain from speaking irrelevant things], and for fear lest having asked our neighbor not to do it, we later find that we are doing it.’ The brother said, ‘So what should one do?’ The old man said, ‘If we wish to keep silence, this way of doing it is enough for our neighbor.’

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