Chapter 6That's pretty hardcore. It's one thing to say, "If you don't have anything nice to say then don't say anything." It's another to say, "And even if you have something nice to say still don't say anything."
2...there are times when good words are to be left unsaid out of esteem for silence...3Indeed, so important is silence that permission to speak should seldom be granted even to mature disciples, no matter how good or holy or constructive their talk.
The idea here seems to be that silence is something to be greatly prized. Silence is more valuable than even constructive speech.
I've yet to discover this value of silence. I've not ever done a silent retreat. I figure I'd have to do a few of those before I could get a glimpse into Benedict's "esteem for silence."
Still, the recommendation to control our speech is well taken. Along those lines, the other day I was struck by the following passage in the epistle of James:
Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.