The Rule of St. Benedict: Chapter 42
Silence is a diversity. I have heard the silence of anger burning. I have heard the silence of paralyzing fear or guilt. I have heard the silence of hopeful anticipation and the silence of green beauty. I have heard the silence of safety and contentedness in the presence of loved ones and of the Beloved.
The silence after Compline is to be a fertile silence into which are planted words of peace and gentleness from Holy Scripture. It is to be a silence of soul as well as sound, blooming with joy and love among the community.
Noise is also diverse. We are each settled upon, like many-splendored moss-covered stones in Archbishop Cranmer's misty, damp England, by the noises that fill the atmosphere of our lives. But we, unlike stones, are able to adjust the air in which we live. We can shut the laptop, turn off the television, put down the smartphone.
I long for the fertile silence our Father Benedict seeks to cultivate in and among us.