6 Feb. 7 June. 7 Oct.
The ninth degree of humility is, that a monk refrain his tongue from speaking, keeping silence until a question be asked him, as the Scripture sheweth: “In much talking thou shalt not avoid sin”: and, “The talkative man shall not be directed upon the earth.”
All the Fathers teach that talkativeness is a sure sign of a diseased heart and a restless spirit. Likewise, all the Fathers recommend holding one’s tongue lest, in giving way to much talk, one fall into sins of pride, vainglory, exaggeration, mendacity, rash judgment, impurity, vulgarity, backbiting, and deprecation. So much of life in the world consists in talking. In the electronic age, the vice of talkativeness, while not altogether silencing the wagging tongue, makes use of fingers flying across the keyboard. How many sins are committed by way of the electronic media: instant messaging, Twitter, Facebook, text messaging, and so many other means of which I have not heard! How many friendships are poisoned, how many reputations damaged, how many families divided, how many lies propagated in this way! At no time in one’s