November 29, 2010

The Silence of a Monastic Confounds Philosophers

Some philosophers once visited an elder, and after he had offered a prayer he remained silent, braiding cord and paying no attention to them.

They besought him, saying: "Say something to us, father", but he held his peace. They said to him: "This is what we came for: to hear you say something and to benefit from it."

The elder said to them: "You spend your money to learn how to speak. I left the world to learn how to keep silent."

They were filled with amazement on hearing this and went their way edified.

From the "Supplimentary Tales" of The Spiritual Meadow by St. John Moschos.