I've been on silent contemplative retreats before, but I'm not a very silent person. If I'm not talking, I'm reading or writing. My mind is a general buzz of activity.

I recognize the need to quiet that buzz, but more and more I'm praying for more silence in my life for interpersonal reasons.

It seems to be a mathematical law that the more words you say the more likely you're going to say something stupid or hurtful. It's just a matter of volume. The more words the more risk. It's a direct correlation.

Consequently, I spend a lot of my day feeling regret for something I've said. I'm always kicking myself with, "I wish I hadn't said that." To be clear, I'm not a mean, abusive person. But very often, my opinions get too strong, my jokes too cutting, my judgments too dismissive. And sometimes it's just the problem that I need to stop talking and listen more.

And so I pray for more silence, for less words in my life. Less talking, more listening. For fewer, slower, more careful words.

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