Prayers, please, for Jimmi, on chemo and possibly near death. God's
will is best! Thanks so much! NRN JL
February 8, June 9, October 9
Chapter 7: On Humility
The eleventh degree of humility
is that when a monk speaks
he do so gently and without laughter,
humbly and seriously,
in few and sensible words,
and that he be not noisy in his speech.
It is written,
"A wise man is known by the fewness of his words"
(Sextus, Enchidirion, 134 or 145).
Ever hear a REALLY over the top disc jockey? Far too loud, too
enthusiastic over material that is less than enthusiastic, too
affected, too cool. (Having a very presentable broadcast voice from
my past, I could do an audio impersonation of one for you, but not
too well in text! It would be something like: HEY! Great Cape Cod
Bay!! Have we got some FABULOUS rock'n roll MOLDY Oldies for you
toDAY!) Now, contrast a PBS classical music announcer, who, at the
opposite extreme, sounds like he is reporting in a whisper at the
sidelines of a VERY somber wake.... Not much life there!
Somewhere in between the two is Benedictine moderation in speech. For
heavens sake, don't adopt a funeral director style, but watch out for
the crazed DJ, too. It is the affectation in both that will ring
false, and it is the falsity that will be a disservice to any message
we try to deliver.
There is a time and place for everything. (I know of no other textual
way to convey this soft whispering other than reverting to all lower
case.) i have known monastics who were so terribly whispery in their
speech that they could never shake that for a fleeting instant,
including when they were reading the scriptures at mass, which meant
that no one could hear them at all. HELLO?! This is a big Church!
Speak up, please! Get the picture? This is no time for soft, hesitant
On the other hand, a monk I used to know was loud in every instance
and it was overbearing, annoying. He only had one throttle speed:
full ahead and it bothered others a good deal. Find a medium between
the two extremes. Balance, balance, balance. That's what we are
Love and prayers,
jeromeleo@... St. Mary's Monastery